Major Facebook Investors Cash Out

The Samwer Brothers have sold their Facebook stake, which has grown to about three-and-a-half times the value the shares held at the time the German entrepreneurial trio bought in, when company had a valuation of $15 billion in 2008.

The Samwer brothers have sold their Facebook stake, which has grown to about three-and-a-half times the value the shares held at the time the German entrepreneurial trio bought in, when company had a valuation of $15 billion in 2008.

News of the sale first appeared in a German publication called Deutsche Startups, which said that the size of the original investment was “significant,” but smaller than the size of Microsoft’s 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. More detailed numbers on the transaction haven’t been disclosed, according to the article.

Tech Crunch’s European Editor Mike Butcher does a better job translating the article than Google does, explaining that the trio — Alexander, Marc and Oliver — sold because they needed more cash for the investments in the European Founders Fund.

Oliver Samwer’s reference to a “roughly tripled” capital requirement sounds like a margin call, and perhaps that got lost in the translations from the German press. Perhaps the brothers wanted to use the proceeds of the sale to buy other stock, possibly another privately-held social media play like Zynga, but that’s purely speculation on my part.

What do you think about the Samwer brothers cashing out their Facebook stake?