Elevation Partners invests $120M in Facebook shares

Elevation Partners has purchased $120 million worth of Facebook shares, according to a letter to its limited partners. The deal doesn’t mean more money in the bank for Facebook, since Elevation purchased the shares from other shareholders.

TechCrunch reported that the purchase of 5 million additional Facebook shares is on top of Elevation’s $90 million purchase of 2.5 million shares in November. At the new price, Facebook’s value has increased 2.5 times in value in just eight months. Blended together, Elevation’s 7.5 million shares were purchased at a $14 billion valuation, while Facebook is trading at about $24 billion on the secondary shares market today. (That’s the price for shares that insiders are selling to other private investors).

Elevation founders Roger McNamee and Bono were both personal investors in Facebook. Also, TechCrunch noted that Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg’s brother-in-law is Marc Bodnick, another Elevation partner. Hence the relationship between Elevation and Facebook is a cozy one.

Elevation hasn’t had the best results lately. It did make a slight profit on the sale of Palm to Hewlett-Packard, but the company postponed a decision to raise a new fund. Recently, it lost principal Patty Halfen Wexler and cut other mid-level investment managers. Elevation has more than $100 million left to invest. But its smallish stake in Facebook, without a board seat or much management influence beyond its investors’ already-extant personal ties, points to Elevation’s chastened ambitions.


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