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Facebook to offer 70 million shares

Facebook plans to sell an additional 70 million shares of stock, including some owned by co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, raising $4 billion for the social media site.

The company plans to use the money for “working capital and other general corporate purposes,” it said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week.

As part of the deal, Zuckerberg will sell 41.4 million of his shares – raising more than $2 billion.

The rest of the offering includes new stock being issued by the company and some being sold by longtime Facebook investors.

Zuckerberg will also exercise an option to buy 60 million Class B shares, which hold more voting rights than common shares. Facebook expects Zuckerberg’s profit from the sale of class A stock to be used to offset the taxes connected to the purchase of B-class shares.

The transactions will slightly reduce Zuckerberg’s voting power at Facebook – down to 62.8 percent from 65.2 percent – though the executive will retain control over the company he helped launch in 2004.

Facebook is set to join the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, and that provided a good opportunity for it to sell more stock, company spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said.

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