The New York Times has released initial details about the Facebook employee stock purchase plan from Digital Sky Technologies (DST). As I wrote back in May, DST invested $200 million and announced plans to purchase up to $100 million “from existing common stockholders that would facilitate liquidity for current and former employees’ vested shares in the company”.
The transaction was projected to take place during the summer and as of today it’s official. According to the New York Times:
Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian investment firm that in May invested $200 million in Facebook, has begun a tender offer to purchase up to $100 million of Facebook common stock from existing stock and option holders, according to a person briefed on the deal. The firm is offering a price of $14.77 a share, which would value the company at $6.5 billion – – less than the $10 billion valuation of its previous investment, which was for preferred shares.
One caveat of this buyback program is that executives cannot participate in the program. Facebook had previously attempted to provide an employee stock buyback program but the program fell through. This investment successfully resolves any previous issues surrounding the program. Since Facebook is not going public in the near future, this program provides liquidity to some of the shareholders.