Time for a shopping spree? Facebook sells $1.5B in shares (but has no plans just yet)

Image Credit: Franco Bouly
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Facebook’s stock took a dive early Thursday, thanks to a stock sale and the ghost of its IPO.

Facebook announced plans today to sell $70 million in shares, worth roughly $3.9 billion. Zuckerberg himself is selling 41.4 million shares (valued at $2.3 billion), reducing his own voting power to 56.1 percent from 58.8 percent.

Facebook says the CEO plans to use the money to pay off taxes related to a Class B stock buy. Zuckerberg is also donating $1 billion to charity, which certainly can’t hurt his tax situation.

Facebook, too, is selling. The company is putting up 27 million shares, a move that frees up roughly $1.5 billion, “for acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies, or other assets,” the company writes in its filing. Facebook, however, has no plans for the cash just yet.

Investors sold as well, and as of writing, Facebook’s stock, which has doubled in price since last year, is down by as much as 1.8 percent.

Another reason for the drop: The ghost of Facebook’s botched initial public offering, which continues to haunt the company. Yesterday, a U.S. District Judge ruled that investors upset by how Facebook handled its IPO last year can pursue claims against the company. Their main contention: Facebook withheld key internal sales projections related to the rise of mobile usage.

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