Thiel Dumps Most Of Facebook Stake

Aug 21 2012 | 10:20am ET

Clarium Capital Management founder Peter Thiel wasted no time in selling off most of his remaining Facebook Inc. stake as soon as he was able.

Thiel, who founded PayPal and who was an early investor in Facebook, sold more than 20 million shares of the social-networking site, whose stock price has plummeted since its May 17 initial public offering. But Thiel still did very well for himself, turning a $500,000 investment in 2004 (and part of a $25 million round of fundraising two years later) into more than $1 billion.

Facebook insiders—Thiel serves on its board of directors—have had to watch the value of their shares fall by almost half. The first set of restrictions on sales by insiders expired last week.

Thiel was ready for it: He converted nine million Class B shares into more liquid Class A shares last week to prepare for the sale. He sold those shares and 11 million more for between $19.27 and $20.69 per share, a total of $395.8 million. Thiel sold $640 million worth of shares in Facebook's IPO.

Thiel still owns more than five million Facebook shares.


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