Russian based investment company Digital Sky Technologies (DST) has agreed to purchase up to $100 million of Facebook common stock. The deal will mean Facebook shareholders, who up until now have had to hold on to their shares, will now be able to earn a dollar or two from their commitment to the company.
NY Times blog Bits are reporting the offer is in the region of $14.77 per share, valuing the company at $6.5 billion, not quite the $10 billion valuation calculated during its previous round of investment for Facebook preferred stock.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed the transaction, saying:
“While individuals must make their own decisions about participating in this program, I’m pleased that the price DST is offering is much greater than the price originally considered last fall. This is recognition of Facebook’s growth and progress towards making the world more open and connected.”
Facebook employees/investors are of course under no obligation to sell, and whether they do or not is very much down to them. The question is whether they should hold onto the stock in the hope that a larger offer be made in the future or that the company may go public. Should the transaction complete in full however, DST will own approximately 3.5% of the company.
Techcrunch has a relatively recent interview with DST CEO Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg that’s definitely worth a watch.