Private Facebook trading dries up as IPO looms

Private aftermarket values Facebook at north of $100 billion. Will public market track it?

The window for trading pre-public Facebook shares has closed as investors' anticipation for the social giant's IPO ramps up. If you missed the opportunity to grab these shares (or didn't qualify to make a purchase), you must now line up with the hordes of general investors who will be buying this stock on the public exchange.

An e-mail sent to SharesPost users earlier this week Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET

An e-mail sent to SharesPost customers earlier this week stated that the closing date to buy Facebook shares was moved up. The original planned closing date for the auction was Monday, April 2; it was re-set to today at noon Pacific Time.

Competing private equity market SecondMarket is laying off 10 percent of its staff as it ceases trading in the Facebook shares that have been buttressing the company to date. (Will we see these employees get jobs in the investor relations department at Facebook?)

The financial data company PrivCo reported that the final secondary auction of Facebook shares closed at $44.10 a share, pegging the company value at $104 billion. Whether Facebook trades up or down from that point when the shares start trading is an open question, and regardless, shares acquired at these auctions will be locked up and unavailable for trading until the lockup period expires; 180 days is typical for IPOs.

About the author

Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.

 

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