In rich people probably getting richer news, Wednesday’s big Facebook IPO filing is really good news for two similar-looking chaps.
The WInklevoss Twins stand to gain quite a bit of cash from Facebook going public, as Facebook has filed to raise at least $5 billion. That’s because the twins are in possession of $45 million worth of stock – stock that could be worth a lot of money if Facebook’s valuation hits its higher estimations.
First, a quick trip down memory lane.
First, I doubt there is anyone who isn’t aware of the Winklevoss Twins’ claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook. The whole thing is beautifully reconstructed in a particular Academy Award-nominated film.
2011 was a tumultuous year for the Winklevii. In January they elected to turn down a previously agreed-upon $65 million settlement, as they said they felt shortchanged. In April, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the Winklevii’s demand for more money was ridiculous and ruled that they must accept the settlement. “At some point, litigation must come to an end,” said one judge.
After all signs pointed to the matter being officially dead, zombie litigators Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss decided to resurrect the appeal. They claimed that the 3-person panel that made the ruling was inefficient and demanded that the entire appeals court hear their case. Tyler Winklevoss created some exotic Twitter hashtags in the process.
That request was denied, and the Winklevii pledged to take their case to the highest court in the land. But soon after that, our national nightmare ended as they announced they would not pursue their case with the Supreme Court. As one Twitter user put it, they settled with their “pitiable, loser lives of being attractive, athletic millionaires.”
Well, with this Facebook IPO, their pitiable lives might be getting a vast improvement.
The settlement that they were so barbarically forced to keep included $20 million cash and $45 million stock. The Wall Street Journal reported that the stock was more than 1.2 million shares (which have now been split 5 to 1).
So, it all depends on what Facebook is worth. With a low end of $75 billion to a high end of $100 billion, the Winklevii are sitting on somewhere around $225 million to $300 million. Maybe that’s why Cameron Winklevoss seemed so thrilled about the IPO:
Of course, they’ll have to split that down the middle. Hopefully, that kind of money will allow them to live a comfortable life – you know, one free of pistachio shilling.