Facebook Shares Clear $25 in SharesPost Auction


Shares of Facebook closed at $25 a share in a recent sealed-bid auction, bumping the value of the social networking giant to $56.7 billion, according to an announcement Friday by SharesPost, which facilities stock sales in privately held companies.

During the week-long auction, which was oversubscribed, 165,000 shares were made available - generating $4.1 million for the sellers, according to SharesPost. The secondary exchange set the reserve price at $23 a share, but in the end it cleared $25 a share, said David Weir, SharesPost CEO.

SharesPost, which used Facebook shares to launch its first auction, plans to hold another Facebook auction next month. "We believe there is a significant amount of unfilled demand and a significant number of sellers who want to participate," said Weir in reference to the upcoming Jan. 10 auction.

How It All Works

The auction is held for a week and begins with SharesPost putting a call out to sellers to participate. Within a couple days, SharesPost then informs interested buyers of the number of shares available the reserve price. That leaves potential buyers with two to three days to bid on shares.

Weir said it makes sense for SharesPost to offer an auction when there is a large number of buyers and sellers, which allows the buyers and sellers to discover a fair price for the shares.

While a number of investors are waiting for Facebook to one day launch an IPO, Weir said the results of his SharesPost auction should not be viewed as a guidepost for how a Facebook IPO pricing would shake out. An IPO, for example, would have substantially more shares available for institutional buyers.

One Facebook investor looking to sell some of their holdings in the social networking titan offered up 3,000 shares earlier this week for $34 a share. And if that investor succeeds in a sale, that would assign a valuation of $77.1 billion for Facebook. With such froth, investors may be taking a look at Twitter.