Facebook employees may get US$150m share reward
Social networking website Facebook is reported to be raising US$150m to buy back employees’ shares and reward them prior to its planned IPO.
The company had given several thousands of shares to employees worth well under one dollar. Hundreds of the Californian company’s employees have now worked at there for more than two years but have been unable to cash in the shares.
In 2008 Facebook allowed workers to sell 20% of their shares for up to $9.27 each, but the new offer seems a more generous way of trying to secure the loyalty of employees who can sell a total of 15 million shares to Facebook investors for a private market value of $10 each.
If the buyback plan is confirmed the $150m funding coming from existing Facebook investors including US companies Accel Partners, Greylock Partners and Founders Fund, in addition to unnamed new Asian investors.
Facebook, estimated to have around 200 milliion users, is thought to be planning an IPO in the next one to two years when the economy recovers.
Its shares are currently worth less than $1 each but the company is concerned employeees would try to cash in and sell them off if their value rises massively as has happened with other internet-based shares such as Google.