Facebook Stock Maneuver Feeds IPO Rumors
Consider yourself forewarned: the official line is that "Facebook has no plans to go public at this time." Just the same, a financial maneuver the company’s performing has raised a few eyebrows since it seems to point towards that possibility.
Jessica E. Vascellaro reported this afternoon, "The company is in the process of converting all current shareholders to Class B stock, which carries ten times the voting power of Class A stock . . . . Those shares will remain Class B shares unless the owner sells them during an initial public offering, at which time they will become Class A shares . . ."
This sort of exercise helps ensure that existing stockholders retain control of a company regardless of what happens on an open market. In Facebook’s case, Mark Zuckerberg, who owns many, many shares, would benefit most. (Important note: It’s not necessarily an "evil" move, though, as Google did the same sort of thing for the sake of Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.)
So what we have here is one more piece of evidence (remember the preexisting enthusiasm surrounding its stock?) that Facebook could be headed towards an IPO.
Even if Facebook doesn’t have definite plans to go public, the recession at least hasn’t completely scared the company away from the idea, then.