Early investor Thiel sells Facebook stock

Ben Southwood
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EARLY Facebook investor, current board member and billionaire PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel last week unloaded most of his shares in the social networking giant, according to a filing to the US regulator released yesterday.

The venture capitalist and hedge fund manager sold around 20m shares in the tech firm, at an average price of $19.73, netting him $400m – compared to an initial investment of $500,000.

Thiel was locked into his stake, which he has held for eight years, until last Thursday, along with other early investors, meaning he was unable to take advantage of the opening price of $38 – which had made Facebook the first firm to debut at a market capitalisation of above $100bn.

Facebook’s share price fell six per cent on Thursday as investors were released from their post-IPO lock-up.

Thiel had planned to sell the shares as part of a trading strategy set out in May, according to yesterday’s filing. He still owns around 5.6m shares.