Zuckerberg sells as Facebook offers new shares

Zuckerberg sells as Facebook offers new shares

NEW YORK - Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg will sell a chunk of his stake in the company, cashing in some US$2.3 billion (S$2.9 billion) , as part of a new share offering by the huge social network.

A Facebook filing Thursday said the company would sell 70 million shares in a follow-on offering to the huge initial public offering in May 2012.

Of the total amount, Zuckerberg will sell around 41 million shares, mainly to satisfy his tax obligations, the company said in a statement.

The 27 million new shares would raise some US$1.5 billion for the company "for working capital and other general corporate purposes," the statement said.

Zuckerberg's sale will have little impact on his control of the company he co-founded from his Harvard University dormitory.

He owns an estimated 29 per cent of Facebook capital, but based on the dual classes of stock, he will still hold 56.1 per cent of the voting rights after the new offering, down from 58.8 per cent.

With the proxies he holds for other shareholders, Zuckerberg will control 62.8 per cent of the voting rights after the new offering, down from 65.2 per cent.

The company said Zuckerberg will exercise his option to purchase 60 million Class B shares and then convert the shares to Class A for the sale.

Each Class A share has one voting right, while Class B shares have 10 voting rights.

Another early Facebook investor, entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, will sell some 1.6 million shares in the offering.

The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission also notes that Zuckerberg plans to donate 18 million shares to an unspecified beneficiary.

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