Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking site,
will split each of its shares into five, the company said.
It is making the move in order to be able to give larger
stock grants to its employees.
A company spokesman, Larry Yu, said the split made sense
because Facebook’s valuation has grown.
The split brings Facebook shares’ value closer to what
might be expected for a privately held company, he said.
The company does not disclose the value of its shares,
but they have recently traded at between $72 (£45.50) and $76 on SharesPost,
which is a secondary stock market that lets. stockholders sell shares before a
company goes public.
This values Facebook at up to $33.7 billion.
It will be the third time in its six-year history that
the privately-held company has broken its shares into smaller units.
Facebook has around 500 million users and is closely
watched by investors hoping to one day buy public shares in the fast-growing
Earlier this week, Facebook board member Peter Thiel told
Reuters the company would probably sell shares to the public at some point, but
not before late 2012.
Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was 35th on Forbes
Magazine’s latest rich list.
The magazine estimated his wealth had grown by 245% to
His fellow co-founder Dustin Moskovitz is the youngest to
make the Forbes top 400. The 26-year-old is eight days younger than Mr