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

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,678.23 -40.31 -0.23%
Nasdaq 4,863.36 -13.16 -0.27%
S&P 500 2,056.15 -4.90 -0.24%
Treasuries 2.01 0.09 4.53%
Data as of 4:13am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.42 0.01 0.06%
Cisco Systems Inc 27.09 -0.37 -1.35%
Apple Inc 124.24 0.86 0.70%
Intel Corp 30.08 0.19 0.64%
Micron Technology In... 26.66 0.09 0.34%
Data as of Mar 26
Sponsors

Sections

Lots of attention is paid to college graduation rates of lower-income students, but many middle-class kids don't finish their bachelor's degrees either. More

Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash uses 'The Matrix' to pitch virtual reality at F8, Facebook developer conference. More

Startup PredictifyMe's groundbreaking technology could help protect against school bombings More

The IRS has paid out more than $191 billion in refunds so far this tax season to 66.1 million filers. More