FACEBOOK FOUNDER Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly admitted that the slide in the value of his company’s shares has been “painful” to observe – as the slide in their shares sees his wealth almost halved.
Shares in the social network continued their slide yesterday, closing at $19.05 each – ending a torrid week during which the shares shed over an eighth of their value.
The $19.05 price is only marginally over half of the $38 the shares were worth when they made their debut on the NASDAQ exchange earlier this summer.
The last two days of falling prices came after the end of a ‘lock-in’ period, during which some of the site’s original investors were unable to sell off their original shareholdings.
The volume of shares traded on Thursday indicated that many of these original investors – who had backed the site from its infancy, investing for only a few dollars a share – had cashed in at this early opportunity.
Though Zuckerberg made over $1 billion in cash from the sale of some of his own shares when the site launched, the remainder of his stake – which was worth about $19.3 billion when public trading ticked off – is now worth about $9.2 billion.
Witnesses at a staff meeting told the Daily Telegraph that Zuckerberg acknowledged how “painful” the slump had been for him to observe.
Zuckerberg isn’t the only person to have taken a hit from the fall, however: Bono and his investment pals from Elevation Partners will also have seen their shareholding nosedive.
The new $19.05 share price means Facebook is now worth a total of $40.81 billion – meaning Elevation Partners’ 0.88 per cent stake is worth $359 million.
It’s not clear how much of Elevation Partners is owned by Bono, though we estimated in May that the Dubliner held about 10 per cent of that company – meaning his own share, now worth $35.9 million (€29.2 million), has nearly halved in value too.
The blow is softened for Bono, however – Elevation Partners sold off $175 million of shares when Facebook launched, meaning the singer secured a cash payoff of $17.5 million (€14.2 million) when the network went public.