Facebook IPO price announced, Saverin to pay taxes

CBS

Facebook begins trading on the NASDAQ Friday May 18, 2012.
CBS
(CBS News) Facebook priced its initial public offering (IPO) Thursday after markets closed. The social network will offer 421,233,615 shares of common stock at $38 per share. Facebook stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq Friday with the ticker symbol "FB."

Full coverage of Facebook at Tech Talk
MoneyWatch: Facebook prices IPO at $38 per share

The weeks leading up to Friday's opening bell have certainly been eventful - from fashion faux pas to questions over capital gains tax.

Last Monday, Facebook chief executive officer and co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the IPO roadshow and got heat for wearing his signature hoodie at a meeting with investors.

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Securities analyst Michael Patcher called Zuckerberg "immature" in an interview with Bloomberg. But Zuckerberg wasn't the only original Facebook team member who was scrutinized last week.

Eduardo Saverin drew ire when it was discovered that the Facebook co-founder relinquished his U.S. citizenship to become a resident of Singapore. Saverin was born in Brazil, moved to the U.S. in 1992 and became a citizen in 1998.

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Singapore does not have capital gains taxes, which many have speculated is part of the reason for Saverin's timely move. The citizenship swap took place last September, Saverin's spokesman Tom Goodman told Bloomberg.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York took note of Saverin's highly publicized change of residency and told reporters Thursday, "Mr. Saverin's social network is about to get a lot smaller."

Schumer and Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced legislation that would punish Americans presumed to change citizenship to evade taxes. Americans who renounce their citizenship with a net worth over $2 million or a tax liability of $148,000 will be punished by being barred from re-entering the U.S. and future investments in the U.S. will be taxed at a 30 percent rate.

Saverin, who has been living in Singapore since 2009, denied that his move was related to tax evasion and said in a statement Thursday that he is obligated 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. It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation," a spokesperson for Saverin told Reuters.

All of the attention failed to slow down the momentum building up to the potentially history-making IPO. Zuckerberg started the week by celebrating his 28th birthday Mondayand will end it by ringing the Nasdaq opening bell on Friday from Facebook's headquarters.

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