- The American manager Dan Rose helped Facebook to great growth.
- The American once wanted to buy StudiVZ, offered the owner Holtzbrinck shares in a deal in 2007.
- Today he is happy that the publisher declined that it was the “most expensive mistake ever”.
It’s no secret that Mark Zuckerberg tried for months to take over the German social network StudiVZ. The founders Ehssan Dariani and Dennis Bemman didn’t find the deal attractive enough, instead they sold their startup in 2007 to the Holtzbrinck publishing house for 85 million euros. However, Facebook did not give up and shortly afterwards offered the media company five percent of its shares in exchange for StudiVZ, as the former top manager Dan Rose tells on Twitter. The American worked for Facebook from 2006 to 2019 and was then responsible, among other things, for the acquisition of new portals.
The Americans feared that StudiVZ had taken Germany by themselves and that Facebook would not have had a chance of gaining market share. Some colleagues advised Rose and Zuckerberg not to take over, but the managers did not allow their plan to be put off. “I had completely negotiated the deal, but shortly before the deal was closed, the owner of the German newspaper backed off,” Rose said in his tweet. “He was concerned that they would no longer have been able to use the social network to direct traffic to their news portals.”
Holtzbrinck is likely to be annoyed today about the burst business. Microsoft joined Facebook in autumn 2007 and valued the US company at the equivalent of 10.5 billion euros (15 billion dollars). The publishing managers would have received shares in the stricken network that would have been worth more than half a billion euros shortly thereafter. If Holtzbrinck had kept the five percent until today, the shares would even stand at almost 29 billion euros.
Dan Rose is happy that the deal failed and writes on Twitter: “I almost made the most expensive mistake of all time.” Facebook overtook StudiVZ around two years after the negotiations. The German platform went downhill until the operating company Poolworks finally had to file for bankruptcy in 2017.
At the end of April, the new owners surprised with a comeback under the new name VZ. Lieferando founder Jörg Gerbig bought the insolvent company, which is still managed by former boss Agneta Binninger.