Insider Sales Put Facebook's Value at Fraction of $15B

Even CEO Zuckerberg reportedly selling still-private options at bargain prices
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Aug 6, 2008 1:22 PM CDT
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, file)
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(Newser) – Though the stake bought by Microsoft last fall pegged Facebook’s value at $15 billion, a rush of stock sales by insiders at the still-private company shows they think it’s worth much less, BusinessWeek reports. Even Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the social-networking giant, reportedly has sold some shares, and trouble could be looming in Silicon Valley.

One broker estimates that dozens of current and former executives and employees are trying to sell shares, with the prices they’re seeking putting Facebook’s value at $5 billion. Facebook is trying to defuse the brouhaha with measures to help employees “realize some liquidity,” but, one analyst says, “The company has a real problem and they are trying to control it.”