Facebook changes stock structure: IPO on the way?

The social network has converted all existing shareholders' stock to the more powerful Class B; it'll go back to Class A if they sell it during an IPO. But the company says it still doesn't have IPO plans set.

Facebook is changing the structure of its company stock to a dual-class system, a move that hints the company may be looking toward an initial public offering--even though it says it has no plans to do so yet.

Here's how it works. Existing Facebook shareholders currently have Class A stock. That'll be converted to Class B stock, which has 10 times the voting power of Class A. Should those shareholders sell their stock when Facebook goes public, they'll be converted back into Class A stock--otherwise, they'll stay the way they are.

The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which added the detail that this stock structure change will give founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg more power unless he opts to sell stock during an IPO. But while Zuckerberg and other executives have said that they eventually plan to take Facebook public, they continue to say that there are no concrete plans for it. Two years ago, Zuckerberg said that it was " years out ."

"This revision to the stock structure should not be construed as a signal the company is planning to go public," a statement from Facebook read. "Facebook has no plans to go public at this time."

 

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