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Facebook's first investor dumps 20 million shares at first chance

Loses faith in Zuckerberg
Tue Aug 21 2012, 13:29

EARLY FACEBOOK INVESTOR Peter Thiel didn't wait to dump a significant chunk of his holding in Facebook, flogging the best part of 20 million shares on 16 and 17 August.

Thiel was an early investor in Facebook and had already sold some of his stake in the firm during its botched initial public offering back in May. Now a Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows that Thiel sold a further 20 million shares in Facebook right after the first lock-in period for investors expired.

Facebook's share price points to Thiel not being the only person dumping shares in the social network, but unlike the majority of traders Thiel sits on Facebook's board of directors and given his history in investing in the firm, this might hint at deep trouble ahead.

Despite Facebook's share price plummeting and Thiel selling his recent batch of shares around the $20 mark, Thiel has made a nice little profit. One of Thiel's largest trades was for 10,639,320 shares at a price of $19.98 netting a total of $212m. Thiel's investment in Facebook goes back to 2004, when he pumped $500,000 into the firm long before it became a big brand.

Questions over Facebook's ability to generate sustainable revenue from advertising has caused its share price to fall in recent weeks. The firm will be hoping investors don't see Thiel's sale as the firm's top brass jumping from a sinking ship.

Thiel still holds almost eight million Facebook shares, but given the direction the firm's share price is heading that might not be worth much after November, when many of the firm's employees can offload their stakes in the company. µ


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