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Dublin: 1 °C Sunday 19 January, 2020

Zuckerberg loses $9.1 billion - and admits Facebook share slide is 'painful'

The end of a ‘lock-in’ period means another dive in share value – meaning Zuckerberg, and Bono, have both lost out.

The wealth of Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world's youngest billionaires, has almost halved in recent weeks.
The wealth of Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world's youngest billionaires, has almost halved in recent weeks.
Image: Paul Sakuma/AP

FACEBOOK FOUNDER Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly admitted that the slide in the value of his company’s shares has been “painful” to observe – as the slide in their shares sees his wealth almost halved.

Shares in the social network continued their slide yesterday, closing at $19.05 each – ending a torrid week during which the shares shed over an eighth of their value.

The $19.05 price is only marginally over half of the $38 the shares were worth when they made their debut on the NASDAQ exchange earlier this summer.

The last two days of falling prices came after the end of a ‘lock-in’ period, during which some of the site’s original investors were unable to sell off their original shareholdings.

The volume of shares traded on Thursday indicated that many of these original investors – who had backed the site from its infancy, investing for only a few dollars a share – had cashed in at this early opportunity.

Though Zuckerberg made over $1 billion in cash from the sale of some of his own shares when the site launched, the remainder of his stake – which was worth about $19.3 billion when public trading ticked off – is now worth about $9.2 billion.

Witnesses at a staff meeting told the Daily Telegraph that Zuckerberg acknowledged how “painful” the slump had been for him to observe.

Zuckerberg isn’t the only person to have taken a hit from the fall, however: Bono and his investment pals from Elevation Partners will also have seen their shareholding nosedive.

The new $19.05 share price means Facebook is now worth a total of $40.81 billion – meaning Elevation Partners’ 0.88 per cent stake is worth $359 million.

It’s not clear how much of Elevation Partners is owned by Bono, though we estimated in May that the Dubliner held about 10 per cent of that company – meaning his own share, now worth $35.9 million (€29.2 million), has nearly halved in value too.

The blow is softened for Bono, however – Elevation Partners sold off $175 million of shares when Facebook launched, meaning the singer secured a cash payoff of $17.5 million (€14.2 million) when the network went public.

Read: Bono’s wealth set to double in Facebook’s first day on markets

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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