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Facebook IPO: Zuckerberg could become wealthier than Google founders



Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering may value Mark Zuckerberg’s stake at $28.4 billion, making him richer than Google Inc.’s co-founders and almost on par with Larry Ellison, who started Oracle Corp. 35 years ago.

The 27-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Facebook is the company’s top stakeholder as it prepares to go public, with 533.8 million shares, or 28.4 percent, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. Investment firms Accel Partners and Digital Sky Technologies own a combined 16.8 percent.


Facebook said in its prospectus that it plans to raise as much as $5 billion in an IPO. The Menlo Park, California-based company is discussing a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, two people familiar with the matter said last week. At the top end of that range, Zuckerberg will own stock worth $28.4 billion. His command of the company goes beyond stock -- he controls 56.9 percent of the voting power.

“It looks from this as if Zuckerberg is maintaining a lot of control,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at Altimeter Group in New York. “He’s shown a great deal of wisdom and maturity in bringing the company to this level of stability and profitability before going public.”

By comparison, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page are each worth more than $15 billion based on their ownership of that company’s shares. Ellison, 67, owns stock worth about $31 billion in Oracle, the software company he founded in 1977.

Lockup Period

While Facebook shareholders are poised for riches, they won’t be able to start selling until the expiration of the so- called lockup period, in some cases six months after the shares begin trading. Zuckerberg may sell stock as part of the IPO, the company said in the filing.

Excluding Zuckerberg’s ownership, the combined value of Facebook stock held by everyone else is $71.6 billion, based on a $100 billion valuation.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, whose work on the company was depicted in the 2010 film “The Social Network,” owns 133.8 million shares, or 7.6 percent. Moskovitz was Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard University.

Eduardo Saverin, another co-founder and Harvard classmate who sued Zuckerberg over ownership of the company, isn’t mentioned in yesterday’s filing. Neither are Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the brothers whose legal battles with Zuckerberg over Facebook also were dramatized in the Oscar-winning film. Napster co-founder Sean Parker, played by Justin Timberlake in the movie, is mentioned as a shareholder, though the amount of his ownership isn’t included.

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