Facebook founder Zuckerberg plans to sell over 40 million shares

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Zuckerberg to sell huge number of Facebook shares

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of social media giant Facebook, has announced his intention to sell more than 40 million shares in the company, with a total value of $2.3bn (£1.41bn).

This follows a promise to keep his shares for at least one year after the initially disastrous IPO in 2012.

After faltering for several months, the share value of Facebook did eventually improve to $45.17 (£28.58), providing reassurance to investors and encouraging others to purchase shares as a profitable investment. This has helped the price of Facebook shares to increase further still, standing at $55.05 (£33.69) at the time of writing.

What lies ahead?

It is currently unknown how this announcement will impact on the price of Facebook shares in the long run, although there was a small dip today immediately following the emergence of the news.

Zuckerberg explained that he would use the majority of his profits from the sale to pay taxes which will be incurred from his purchase of 60m additional Class B shares. Class B shares are the more powerful option available from Facebook, with this type offering 10 votes instead of the single vote connected to the more commonly available Class A shares.

Despite offering these shares for sale, Zuckerberg will retain a significant amount of control in the company, with his 65.2% voting power reduced slightly to 62.8%.

Kleon West, business development director at theEword, commented: "While it may appear alarming to investors that Zuckerberg is looking to unload such a large portion of his shares, they should be reassured by his continued commitment to Class B shares. This suggests that the social media pioneer retains a great deal of confidence in his creation, with plenty of innovations to come in the future."