Facebook, Zuckerberg to sell R41bn in shares

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REUTERS

London - Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., is selling shares to help pay taxes, joining the company and some other shareholders in an offering worth about $3.9 billion.

About 27 million shares will be offered by Facebook, and almost 43 million shares are being sold by certain stockholders, including 41,350,000 shares by Zuckerberg, the company said in a statement today.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook fell as much as 5.3 percent in pre-market trading.

The follow-on sale, the first that Facebook has filed for since its IPO in May 2012, could raise about $3.9 billion based on the company’s last closing price.

Facebook said it will use the proceeds for working capital and other corporate purposes while Zuckerberg will use the majority of his proceeds to pay taxes he will incur in connection with his exercise of an option to purchase 60 million shares.

“We do not currently have any specific uses of the net proceeds planned,” Facebook said in the statement.

“We may use a portion of the proceeds to us for acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies or other assets.”

Facebook is testing video advertisements that automatically play in users’ news feeds, in a bid to catch up with other websites offering online commercials.

The first promotions are starting to run this week, the company said December 17.

 

Video Upload

 

While advertisers can already upload videos to their Facebook page and broadcast them to a user’s news feed, the new service will let marketers buy their way directly into a person’s feed, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The shares of Facebook have more than doubled this year.

They advanced 1.3 percent to $55.57 at the close in New York yesterday.

Standard & Poor’s announced that as of the close of trading on December 20 it plans to include Facebook’s Class A common stock in the S&P 500 Index, Facebook said.

Facebook and the underwriters of its IPO must face a class- action lawsuit by investors claiming the company misled them about its financial condition, US District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan ruled in an opinion dated December 11.

Additional share sales in the US this year have raised about $177 billion, about the same as in 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is managing the transaction announced today, along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc, according to the statement. - Bloomberg News


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