Facebook investors to cash out more shares

Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company's initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.
By PETER SVENSSON Published: May 17, 2012
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Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company's initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook said in a regulatory filing that 84 million shares, worth up to $3.2 billion, are being added to what's shaping up to be the decade's hottest IPO.

Facebook's stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday under the ticker symbol “FB”.

The entire increase comes from insiders and early investors, so the company won't benefit from the additional sales.

The biggest increases come from investment firms DST Global and Tiger Global. Goldman Sachs is doubling the number of shares it is selling. Facebook board members Peter Thiel and James Breyer are also selling more shares.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg isn't increasing the number of shares he's selling.

The news comes a day after Facebook raised the expected price of the stock to a range of $34 to $38 per share, up from its previous range of $28 to $35.

At the high end of the price range, the IPO would raise $16 billion without the overallotment option reserved to meet extra demand. That would make it the third-largest U.S. IPO in history, ahead of General Motors in 2010, according to Renaissance Capital.

The IPO is the most anticipated in years and would value Facebook overall at more than $100 billion.

The offering is expected to get a final price Thursday evening.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said current shareholders are now offering approximately 241 million shares, up from about 157 million shares previously.

Even though Zuckerberg isn't increasing the number of shares he is selling, the additional sales will trim his voting control to 55.8 percent from 57.3 percent. That's because he has voting control over some shares now owned by investment firms, which will be sold in the offering.

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