The state’s pension fund is now Facebook’s landlord.
The giant social Web site, which counts more than 500 million members, said on Tuesday that it plans to move 1,400 of its 2,000 employees into the 1 million square foot, 11-building former headquarters of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park, Calif. Sun vacated its campus after the company was bought by Oracle, a deal that closed in January 2010.
Facebook signed its new 15-year lease (with an option to buy after five years), just one day after the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) bought the facility from Oracle for $100 million. Terms of Facebook’s lease were not disclosed.
“It’s a good piece of property, a good investment and that’s really the main focus here,” said Vicki Hearing, SWIB’s public information officer, in an interview with Madison.com, the Web site of the Wisconsin State Journal. The “important thing is we have a tenant in a building we own.”
Facebook is currently based in Palo Alto, Calif, about four miles from Menlo Park.
Overall, Wisconsin’s pension fund holds about $3.3 billion of its portfolio in real estate, about 4 percent of the fund’s $80 billion overall value.
Seven-year old Facebook.com, whose value was recently pegged at more than $50 billion after it proposed a private placement through Goldman Sachs, said its new facility, spread out over 57 acres, can accommodate up to 3,700 employees. Which is good, since the company’s headcount is increasing at 50 percent a year, according to the company’s CFO, David Ebersman, in an interview with DigitalTrends, a technology Web site.
Facebook’s recent private offering statement indicated that it would likely go public by 2012.