Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Sorry, Americans: Goldman kicks U.S. clients out of Facebook deal

By Laurie Segall, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Goldman Sachs' American clients looking to buy Facebook shares through the company's exclusive and highly publicized private placement deal are out of luck.

The financial services giant said Monday that it will only be offering shares to its non-U.S. clients, a decision it attributed to the "intense media attention" the deal has attracted since it came to light earlier this month.

"Goldman Sachs concluded that the level of media attention might not be consistent with the proper completion of a U.S. private placement under U.S. law," the company said in a written statement. "We regret the consequences of this decision, but Goldman Sachs believes this is the most prudent path to take."

Goldman said its decision "was not required or requested by any other party." But keeping its Facebook coup out of the U.S. market could help Goldman steer clear of tricky questions from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is probing the fast-growing "secondary" market for shares of privately held companies.

Goldman dumped kerosene on that market earlier this month by inviting some of its richest clients to participate in a $1.5 billion private fundraising round that values Facebook at $50 billion. Goldman ended its solicitation early because of overwhelming interest from its clients.

Facebook has been on a growth tear this year, topping 500 million users. It recently passed Google as the most visited site on the Web, according to a recent Hitwise studyTo top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 15,973.84 313.66 2.00%
Nasdaq 4,337.51 70.67 1.66%
S&P 500 1,864.78 35.70 1.95%
Treasuries 1.75 0.10 6.33%
Data as of 6:08pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 11.95 0.79 7.08%
General Electric Co 28.26 0.81 2.95%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.11 0.43 1.74%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 1.59 -0.19 -10.67%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 5.53 0.64 13.09%
Data as of Feb 12
Sponsors

Sections

Antonin Scalia's death leaves the Supreme Court with eight justices to decide dozens of remaining cases. The pending docket includes a number of matters of interest to businesses, workers and investors. More

India's finance minister isn't worried about jobs being lost in the country's manufacturing sector despite warnings that industrial robots will dramatically reduce the need for factory workers in coming decades. More

Eastern Illinois University laid off 198 staff members this week, and the college president is blaming the state government. More