Facebook Valued At $50 Billion By Goldman Sachs

4:54 AM PST 01/03/2011 by Georg Szalai
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The social network is now worth more than most entertainment giants, and the latest deal could double the personal fortune of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

NEW YORK - Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs has invested $450 million in Facebook, and existing Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies has invested an additional $50 million in a deal that values the social networking firm at $50 billion, the New York Times reported, citing people involved in the transaction.

The valuation means that Facebook is now worth more than companies like Yahoo and all entertainment conglomerates except for Walt Disney, whose market capitalization stood at $71 billion as of Friday, according to Bloomberg.

The deals could help double the personal fortune of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, which Forbes estimated at $6.9 billion when the firm was valued at $23 billion, the Times said. That would put him in a league wit Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, estimated to be worth $15 billion each.

The latest investments also underline the appeal of Facebook. And as one of Wall Street’s biggest names, Goldman Sachs could also position itself for a potential future IPO of the networking company, which the Times said could be considered in 2012. Zuckerberg has often downplayed a possible IPO though.

The new investment also comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a probe into the private market for shares in Internet companies, such as Facebook and Twitter.

According to the Times, Goldman is also planning to create a “special purpose vehicle” to allow its high-net-worth clients to invest in Facebook. The SEC requires companies with more than 499 investors to disclose their financial results, but the vehicle may be able get around that rule as it would likely be considered just one investor, the paper said.
 

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