Kleiner Invests In Facebook At $52 Billion Valuation

By Jackie Cohen Comment

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is acquiring a $38 million stake in Facebook through a transaction that valuing the social network at $52 billion.

Venture Wire first reported the deal, citing two unnamed investors as sources who said that Kleiner’s $750 million debut digital growth fund is purchasing the roughly one percent stake in Facebook.

While Venture Wire describes the Kleiner deal as raising the value of Facebook to $52 billion from the $50 billion implied by the Goldman Sachs-led investment earlier this year, that makes the social network’s stock sound a lot less volatile than it really is, and leaves out the fact that the venture capital firm appears to have locked in a low price for the shares.

Factor in the auctions that occurred on SecondMarket and SharesPost between the two big-name investments, and the Kleiner deal makes Facebook’s stock look really turbulent.

It’s very possible that Kleiner might have been begun negotiating a stock buy well before the recent peak close of trading on SharesPost that closed with a value of $82.9 billion for the social network, possibly even getting paperwork signed that locked in the low price.

The venture capital firm might also have particpated in any or all of the private transactions on SharesPost and SecondMarket, locking in even more of a bargain on the shares.

Regardless, the changes in the company’s valuation make a compelling contrast to what the public markets would allow, or rather not allow. If Facebook stock were publicly traded, one of the exchanges circuit breakers might have halted trading at least once over the past couple of months.

Readers, what do you make of the news that Kleiner Perkins is obtaining a one percent stake in Facebook that sets the social network’s value at $52 billion?