With No IPO On Horizon, Facebook And LinkedIn Let Employees Sell Some Shares Early: Report

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Employees of social networking giants Facebook and LinkedIn aren’t likely to get any liquidity event (IPO, sale) any time soon. By this point some employees would be understandably anxious to cash in. At Facebook, there have been a few ex-employees selling shares on the private market, though current employees are enjoined from selling. At VentureBeat, Eric Eldon offers separate reports, saying the two companies have recently announced plans to let employees sell some shares. Facebook employees will be able to sell 20 percent of their vested shares at a $4 billion valuation, according to the report. LinkedIn will let employees sell some shares at $500 million (half of what the company valued itself at after its latest $53 million round). No details on how the share sales would be transacted at either company — it’s not clear whether they could sell on an “open” market, or if there will be some rules about who can buy. Again, with no near-term IPO plans, it makes sense that both would find ways for their employees to cash in without having to leave the companies.

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Svetlana Gladkova

What I still fail to understand is why LinkedIn is valuated this much lower than Facebook with a comparable revenue (and a more diverse range of revenue sources) and a more steady business model.

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