Report: Facebook Raising $150M To Reward Employees

    May 18, 2009

Facebook’s employees may soon get a special payday that goes well beyond the normal end-of-the-week routine.  A new report indicates the company is raising $150 million in order to buy out workers’ shares and effectively give them a pre-IPO reward. 

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Last year, Facebook took a couple of steps in this direction by allowing employees to sell some of their shares for $8.90 and then $9.27 each.  The new development seems to go even further.

Matt Marshall wrote this weekend, "Hundreds of . . . employees have now toiled at the company for more than two years, and many have worked three to five years.  Increasingly, some have become restless, and would like to cash in on the huge value they’ve created.  Most employees were awarded several thousands of shares valued at far less than a dollar each.  Now, by selling to those shares investors for a private market value of $10 each, employees can enjoy a nice windfall."

Facebook’s likely to see a lot more loyalty as a result.  At the same time, investor Ron Conway said earlier this month that he’s hoping for the company to go public in the next one to two years, so the pacifying move may not be a sign that Facebook won’t do an IPO in the near future.

As for who’s supplying the $150 million, Marshall reported that existing backers will put up a lot and new investors from Asia will take care of the rest.