Peter Thiel was one of the earliest investors and Facebook and owned a huge amount of stock in the company when Facebook made its IPO. Thiel’s venture capital firm Founders Fund sold 20.1 million shares last Thursday and Friday in Facebook. The billionaire was one of Facebook’s early investors and is a board member of the social networking company.
Word of the massive stock sale came from financial documents filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The sell off of 20.1 million shares represented 72% of the shares voted by Thiel. The massive sell off of Facebook stock by Thiel and his Founders Fund has to make other investors worry about the future of their investment.
Facebook stock has continued to decline after selling for $38 per share during its IPO. Yesterday shares fell below $19 during trading, but closed at $20 for an increase of around 5% before the 20.1 million share sale was disclosed by the SEC. Speculation surfaced last week that Thiel would shed stock in the social network after the expiration of the lockup agreement. That agreement prevented 271 million shares held by early investors and employees from being sold.
Thiel still owns shares personally and has voting control over shares owned by Founders Fund. Forbes reports that Thiel personally grabbed about $285 million after taxes by selling off stock in Facebook. Thiel has been an investor in Facebook since 2004, when he offered $500,000 for over 10% of Facebook, still known as Thefacebook at the time.