Goldman to US Investors: No Facebook Shares for You

Only non-US clients can buy in
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2011 1:13 PM CST
In this Oct. 13, 2010 file photo, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks in the Galileo Auditorium on Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – Want to snatch up some Facebook shares? Tough luck, if you’re an American. Goldman Sachs is limiting the private offering of up to $1.5 billion in shares to non-US clients only. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Goldman says the "intense media attention" surrounding the deal "might not be consistent with the proper completion of a US private placement under US law." It was not immediately apparent what sparked Goldman’s regulatory concerns, but the company says the SEC did not require or request the decision.

A total of about $7 billion in orders has already come in, a source says, and Chinese demand is particularly strong, so Goldman should be able to pull off the sizable offering even without US investors. "They're still committed to doing the deal at the original size," says one client, but US investors are "going to be disappointed.” Clients must pay for their shares by the end of the week, says another source.

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