(January 17, 2011) Goldman Sachs has been left red-faced after the investment bank had to scrap plans for its super-rich American clients to become special friends with Facebook.
Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs invested $450m (£283m) in the social network company at a price that valued Facebook at $50bn. It was then reported that the bank was looking to raise $1.5bn for Facebook through an exclusive share offer, known as a private placement, for the bank's top clients.
Facebook is probably the hottest property on the planet at present. The seven-year-old company has more than 500 million users and recently passed Google as the most visited site on the web. The deal was a major coup for Goldman, which appeared to have found a way to get its clients in first.
The bank planned to set up a "special purpose vehicle" to allow its clients to invest in Facebook. The plan was widely seen as a way to circumnavigate rules that restrict to below 500 the number of US shareholders a private company can have.