Facebook share sell-off values firm at $65bn

INTERPUBLIC Group, the global advertising firm that owns agencies including McCann Erickson, has sold half of its stake in Facebook for $133m (£81m) to an unnamed buyer.

Interpublic, which was an early investor in Facebook, is believed to have held a 0.4 per cent stake, which would value the social networking site at about $65bn.

The group did not reveal the number of shares it is selling but expects to book a pre-tax gain of $132m.

“The Strategic value of our initial investment [in Facebook] has moderated, while the financial value of that stake appreciated significantly,” chief executive Michael Roth said in a statement.

In June, investment fund GSV Capital Corp bought 225,000 shares in Facebook at an average price of $29.28 each, valuing the world’s top social networking site at approximately $70bn.

Facebook, which is mulling a public listing, has roughly 2.4bn outstanding shares, according to data from secondary market company Sharepost.

Interpublic also said it plans to increase its share repurchase plan by $150m to $450m. It had repurchased $187.6m of shares until 12 August.