Facebook Value Slips to $98 Billion in Private Market Sale

Thursday, 16 Feb 2012 01:11 PM

 

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Facebook Inc.’s implied value fell by almost 5 percent to about $98 billion in an auction of a fund that holds shares of the social-media company.

SharesPost Inc. managed a Feb. 14 auction of 200,000 fund units, each equivalent to one Facebook share, at a price of $42 apiece, according to a statement from the private-stock marketplace yesterday. SharesPost estimates Facebook has 2.33 billion shares outstanding, including stock tied to options that may be issued, according to its website.

On Feb. 8, SharesPost managed the auction of 150,000 shares of Facebook’s Class B common stock at a price of $44, or an implied value of $102.6 billion. The latest sale values the company at $97.9 billion.

Facebook filed for a $5 billion initial public offering on Feb 1., and people familiar with the matter have said Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is considering a sale that would value the company at as much as $100 billion. At that level, the company would trade at 26.9 times 2011 sales, more than five times higher than search-engine operator Google Inc.

Revenue at Menlo Park, California-based Facebook jumped 88 percent last year to $3.71 billion, while net income climbed by almost two-thirds to $1 billion.

The valuation based on private-market transactions may change depending on the actual share count after the IPO. As of Dec. 31, Facebook had 117.1 million Class A shares and 1.76 billion Class B shares outstanding. There also are about 379 million restricted stock units that vest later, as well as about 259 million shares that may be issued if outstanding stock options are exercised, the IPO prospectus shows.

Jeremiah Hall, a spokesman for San Bruno, California-based SharesPost, confirmed the auction results. Jonathan Thaw, a spokesman for Facebook, declined to comment.


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