Tech

Facebook May Be Worth $60 Billion, Sources Say

Is Facebook threatening to destroy app businesses if they don't go under the social network's name?

Is Facebook threatening to destroy app businesses if they don't go under the social network's name?

Facebook was exploring Thursday a tender offer up to $1 billion of its employee shares, after being approached by a number of big institutional investors about investing in the company, according to sources close to the situation.

The new approximate valuation of the company would be $60 billion, sources said, a significant increase to a recent $1.5 billion investment round by Goldman Sachs and its international clients that had pegged the social networking behemoth at $50 billion.

The reason behind the move would be to allow Facebook employees to take gains from their privately-held shares, since the company is not likely to have an initial public offering (IPO) for at least a year.

Facebook has tried hard -- via ever bigger funding rounds and ever larger valuations -- to delay its IPO, in order to grow its massive 600-million user base away from public scrutiny.

The move is not dissimilar to one that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company did in mid-2009, when one of its major investors, DST, forked over $100 million for employee shares.

At that time, current and former employees of Facebook were able to sell up to 20 percent of their common shares at $14.77 per share at a $6.5 billion valuation.

It is likely the deal will be split between two or more investors, sources added.
Read more about Facebook's valuation at AllThingsD.