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Facebook Delays Employees’ Stock Sales, Citing Economy

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This would do additional harm to Facebook’s pie-in-the-sky valuation numbers: it is delaying its program to allow employees to sell some of their Facebook shares, citing the tough economic times. Under the stock sale plan, announced in August, Facebook employees were allowed to sell a portion of their shares vested by Nov. 1 — up to 20 percent of their options for a maximum of $900K — at around a $4 billion company valuation, but there have been few takers at the price. The program was a way for employees to get some money while the company builds up the business before an IPO down the line, and was viewed as an employee retention move. The news, first reported by Valleywag and then confirmed by WSJ, means that there will be additional doubts about Facebook’s real or even perceived valuation, which, depending on who you believe, falls anywhere between $4 billion and $15 billion (MSFT’s investment was at that number).