Feeds

PayPal co-founder sells out of foundering Facebook at VAST profit

Thiel leaps overboard, squeaking and lashing tail

3 Big data security analytics techniques

One of Facebook's earliest investors has sold around $400m worth of shares in the company – which has seen its value halved since going public in May this year.

PayPal co-founder and Facebook director Peter Thiel and his venture capital firm, Founders Fund, cashed out most of his stock (about 20 million shares) in the dominant social network, according to a US Security and Exchange regulatory filing.

When shares in Facebook hit a new low late last week, Thiel was busily selling his stock at average prices ranging between $19.27 and $20.69.

He was able to offload the shares immediately after the so-called lock-out period for inside investors had ended, allowing them to trade stock for the first time since Facebook's troubled initial public offering, when Thiel bagged around $640m after selling 16.8 million shares.

Some unkind folk might consider that Thiel was simply turning his back on a turkey. That said, in two days of selling he did see his initial investment in the network balloon from the $500,000 investment he initially sunk into the social network in 2004. That investment netted the billionaire entrepreneur a 10 per cent stake in the company, which was later reduced to 3 per cent because of dilution and private Facebook shares sales. If you tack on the $640m to the $400m he just made after the lock-out ended, that's a $1bn return on a mere $500k...

Regulatory files also revealed that other early backers of Mark Zuckerberg's Web2.0 baby were also dishing out shares in the network.

Accel Partners scattered nearly 58 million Facebook shares to its investors in last week.

Meanwhile, shares in Facebook closed at $19.99 on Nasdaq on Monday. The company floated on 18 May with an initial IPO price of $38, but its value is now 50 per cent less than it was just three months ago. To put this in perspective, the social network's still worth roughly the same as UK retail monster Tesco, which has real-world assets such as shops, trucks and stock. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.