Thiel Preparing To Sell Facebook Shares?

Aug 15 2012 | 11:14am ET

Clarium Capital Management founder Peter Thiel may be looking to unload a few more Facebook Inc. shares.

Thiel, who founded PayPal and who was an early investor in Facebook, converted more than 9 million of his shares in the company from Class B to Class A, the latter being easier to trade publicly. Thiel, who serves on the social-networking giant's board of directors, had already sold more than 16 million Facebook shares in its giant initial public offering.

Thiel made $630 million on the IPO. Since going public, however, Facebook shares have plummeted by almost half, meaning that Thiel's remaining stake in the company is worth about $550 million. Most of Thiel's shares are Class A shares.

Restrictions on early Facebook investors mean that most can't sell their shares until at least tomorrow. It is unclear whether Thiel plans to unload more Facebook shares, but he has surrendered some power over the company with his move; Class A shares may be more liquid than Class B, but they carry less voting power.

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