Is Facebook CFO To Blame for Botched IPO? (NY Times)

Ebersman signed off on offering’s price and increase in number of shares.

With Facebook shares having lost more than half their value since the initial public offering in May, a New York Times article argues that David Ebersman, the social networking site’s CFO, is to blame for the mess, rather than the banks that underwrote the deal. Ebersman signed off on pricing the shares at $38, above the range of $29 to $34 that was discussed initially, and he advocated boosting the number of shares issued by 25% just days before the offering, according to the article. It suggests both Ebersman and the bankers failed to understand that while institutional investors typically order more shares than they want because they don’t expect to get them all, the hype around the Facebook IPO caused them to inflate their orders even more. The article also says Ebersman has done little since the IPO to convince investors that the company has a plan that will allow the stock to recover.

An article on Business Insider notes that while investors have lost money on their Facebook shares, Ebersman managed the deal so that it worked in the company’s favor, leaving it with $6 billion in the bank and an $8 billion credit line.

 

See the New York Times story here and the Business Insider article here. For more on the Facebook offering, see Facebook Sparks Disclosure Debate and Facebook Off as Restrictions End.

 

 

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