Facebook Higher-Ups Cashing In Their Chips

Execs see a discounted payoff

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Permission to sell their insider shares led some Facebook executives to taking substantial discounts from the company’s $15 billion valuation to get those sales done.

Some big investors paid to get their hands on shares of social networking firm Facebook. But the prices they paid are more along the lines of Target than Neiman-Marcus.

The selling goes all the way up to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, with several other executives either executing sales or hustling to find buyers. BusinessWeek said another executive, Matt Cohler, sold some stock as well.

The prices may not be what Facebookers dreamed of when Microsoft dropped enough cash on the company to spur dreams of a valuation in the $15 billion range. Instead, BusinessWeek thinks sellers are receiving prices that put the company closer to valuations of $3.75 billion and $5 billion, based on details they learned of some sales.

These sales come below a reportedly established “floor” for prices of Facebook’s shares. Discounting below this floor doesn’t help Facebook command a higher price for a possible sale or IPO.

But Valleywag said the discounts come because the sellers own common stock, not the preferred shares Microsoft received from its investment. “Why the discrepancy?” asked Paul Boutin. “Partly because as eager as Microsoft was to buy into the hot social network last fall, Facebookers are now eager to sell.”

Facebook Higher-Ups Cashing In Their Chips
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