Facebook Mulls $1 Billion Share Sale

Facebook is investigating the possibility of selling up to $1 billion worth of employee shares in a deal that would value the social networking site at $60 billion, according to an influential blog.

The company is under pressure to allow its staff to offload shares following the revelation last month that it may not go public for more than a year, explains technology blog All Things Digital, citing sources close to the situation.

In January, Facebook said it expected to pass 500 shareholders at some point in 2011, which would trigger an obligation to begin filing financial information by April 2012, and could lead to an IPO.

Plenty of employees want to cash out before this point, however, which has led to a red-hot market for Facebook’s shares on secondary markets like SharesPost and SecondMarket.

Investors remain keen to invest in Facebook despite the company’s soaring valuation. The latest figure of $60 billion is well up on the $50 billion valuation set a month ago when Goldman Sachs placed $1 billion worth of shares with non-US clients.

Goldman Sachs had planned to offer shares to US clients as well, but was forced to cut them out after publicity surrounding the deal threatened to break securities rules about private placements.

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