Snapchat app maker Snap Inc. filed papers Feb. 2 to move forward with what’s expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company.
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The maker of Snapchat is putting about a fifth of the company up for public sale to investors over the next couple of weeks.
Some of the shares in Snap Inc. are coming from the company itself. And at a proposed price of $16 each, selling all of them would bring the company nearly $2.5 billion, including an extra allotment set aside for after the initial rush.
But up to $1.1 billion in additional shares are being sold by either company officials or investors who were able to get an early stake in Snap through private deals in the last five years.
Of those investors, San Francisco venture capital firm Benchmark is selling the most valuable chunk: $320 million. Unloading those shares would represent 8% of Benchmark's stake, leaving the firm holding onto about $1.9 billion worth of Snap shares. It would have 2.7% voting control over the company.
Possible incomes among other venture capital firms include $139 million at Snap's first investor, Lightspeed Venture Partners, for selling 5% of its holding; $17 million for General Catalyst for also selling 5%; and $3 million for SV Angel for selling 4%. Several other unidentified shareholders also plan to offer parts of their investments, according to a securities filing Thursday.
Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy would each get $256 million from selling shares. Spiegel also stands to receive about $589 million worth of shares — at the $16 price — over the next several years once the IPO is completed. That bonus will slowly give Spiegel, the chief executive, more voting control than Murphy, the chief technology officer. Immediately after the IPO, they each would have about 44% of votes.
Snap Chairman Michael Lynton, who recently announced his resignation as head of Sony Entertainment, is cashing out of as much as $2 million in shares. He's expected to keep additional shares valued at $47 million.