Goldman Sachs Invests $500 Million in Facebook

Goldman Sachs has invested some US$500 million in Facebook in a deal that values the social networking giant at $50 billion. The New York Times reported that as part of the deal, the investment bank must raise another $1.5 billion from its clients.

Word of the deal spread after Goldman Sachs began sending e-mails to some of its heavy hitters letting them know of an investment opportunity in an unnamed company. To put the Facebook name to the company involved, the newspaper cited unnamed sources “familiar with the matter.”

If the story and the sources are accurate, a $50 billion valuation would mean that Facebook is worth more than Ebay ($37.4 billion), Time Warner, Inc. ($35.9 billion), and Yahoo, Inc. ($21 billion). At that valuation, the company would be worth almost half of Intel ($116 billion) and Cisco ($113.6 billion), and 1/6 of the world’s most valuable tech company, Apple ($302.3 billion).

All that before the open investment company gets its opportunity to bid on the company in an initial public offer (IPO), something that could happen in 2012, according to The Times, but is not set in stone.