SEARCH

Entries in IPO (2)

Thursday
May172012

Facebook IPO: Eduardo Saverin Defends Citizenship Move

Jim Spellman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook and soon-to-be IPO multi-billionaire, defended relinquishing his U.S. citizenship, which led lawmakers to announce the Ex-Patriot Act Thursday morning, saying he “will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes” to the U.S.

“My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009,” Saverin, 30, said in a statement released to ABC News. “I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen.”

Saverin, who helped Mark Zuckerberg develop the social network as Harvard students, is expected to save millions of dollars by not paying capital gains taxes on his shares of Facebook, which is expected to have the largest technology IPO ever on Friday.

His stake in the company is estimated to be worth over $3 billion of Facebook once the company goes public on Friday.

Last week, reports revealed Saverin filed in September 2011 to give up his citizenship which became official in September, before Facebook announced its plans in February this year.

“It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation,” he said in the statement.

Saverin paid a standard “exit” tax, which included approximately 15 percent of the pre-IPO value of his shares. Saverin is likely saving millions of dollars because he will not pay capital gains taxes while he lives in Singapore.

“As a native of Brazil who immigrated to the United States, I am very grateful to the U.S. for everything it has given me,” Saverin said. “In 2004, I invested my life’s savings into a start-up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room. Since then the company has expanded dramatically, has created thousands of jobs in the United States and elsewhere, and spawned countless new companies across the United States and other countries.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., have called Saverin’s move an “outrage.” Their proposed legislation calls for re-imposing a 30-percent tax on capital gains on expatriates like Saverin who take up residence in a foreign country.

Last year 1,700 people renounced their U.S. citizenship.

“I will continue to invest in U.S. businesses and start-ups, and believe and hope that those investments will create many new jobs in the U.S. and globally,” Saverin said. “I also hope that these investments will create opportunities for many other individuals to start companies and benefit society.”

Ben Mezrich, author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, defended Saverin. Mezrich, who interviewed Saverin for his book which was adapted into the film The Social Network, said saving money was likely a factor for his repatriation, but not the entire reason.

“To be fair, Eduardo wasn’t born in the U.S. and has really lived internationally for most of his life,” Mezrich said. “He will save some money on taxes, and especially on estate taxes down the line, so I’m sure that’s a factor, but he probably made the decision because he sees himself as an international businessman.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb092012

Facebook's Graffiti Artist: Life Unchanged by $200 Million

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- David Choe, the 35-year-old muralist who is expected to be worth an estimated $200 million after the Facebook IPO, is bothered by the hype surrounding his newfound money.

"You can't buy your privacy back," Choe told ABC’s Barbara Walters. "Because I was already doing OK, and to have this abstract amount of money now, I cannot buy my privacy back. I was like: What the hell's happening? Every news-- Al Jazeera, every news organization in the world is beating down the door, trying to get a, you know, interview. And I'm like, 'Oh, my God.'"

Although he considers himself homeless, living in casinos and hotels, Choe is a well-known artist whose works are featured in private collections and museums.

[ Watch Barbara Walters' interview with Choe on ABC's Nightline Thursday at 11:35 p.m./10:35 CT. ]

"It's gonna sound horrible for me to say money is meaningless," he said. "But everyone's like: What are you gonna do now, now that you have all this money and freedom? I did everything I wanted to when I had nothing. Everyone's like: Well, what are you gonna do now? I'm like, I'm still gonna do whatever I want except more people are just gonna bother me now."

Facebook, a start-up social networking site started by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm room, has grown to be one of the world's highest valued Internet companies. In 2005, Sean Parker, president of Facebook at the time, approached Choe with a proposition. He asked Choe to paint his famous murals on the office walls for $60,000, or company stock.

Choe chose the stock -- an interesting choice, since Choe once called Facebook "ridiculous." That "ridiculous" idea sprouted a social media powerhouse, which announced this month its IPO -- or initial public offerings of stock. Analysts say Facebook is expected to net the company as much as $10 billion when the stock can be sold this spring, meaning Choe made an estimated $200 million, at least on paper.

As for his murals? They're still in Facebook offices today -- though some were cut from the walls and moved to the social network's offices around the world, Choe told Walters.

For more information on David Choe's work and movie, go to http://dirtyhandsmovie.com/


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio