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Goldman Sachs intends to sell half of its Facebook shares

In a regulatory filing Wednesday, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. disclosed that it intends to sell 28.7 million shares it the Facebook Inc. stock it owns.

The shares Goldman Sachs intends to sell represents about half of the investment the company has made in Facebook and are valued at about $1.09 billion. 

Goldman Sachs, along with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co., are the three underwriters for Facebook’s initial public offering which is expected to be one of the biggest in U.S. history. Facebook goes public on Friday. Goldman Sachs owns the Facebook stock because of a $500 million investment made in January 2011.

In other news Thursday, two Senate Democrats announced a new bill called the “Ex-Patriot Act” that would penalize people who renounce their U.S. citizenship and leave the country in order to skirt capital gains taxes. 

One of the founders of Facebook, Brazilian Eduardo Saverin, will become a billionaire on Friday when Facebook goes public. Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship last week, meaning he won’t have to pay an estimated $67 million in capital gains taxes, according to Reuters.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said the bill would force wealthy people renouncing their citizenship to prove to the Internal Revenue Service that they weren’t leaving to skirt tax laws, and if they didn’t, they would be faced with a 30 percent tax on future investment gains as well as being barred from re-entering the United States. 

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