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Silicon Valley exec offers Los Gatos home for pre-IPO Facebook shares

March 17, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • "Hack," Facebook's motto of moving fast and breaking things, appears on walls throughout its new 57-acre headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
"Hack," Facebook's motto of moving fast and breaking… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

The clamor for Facebook shares in the lead-up the initial public stock offering has officially reached a fevered pitch.

One Silicon Valley executive has put out a news release with an unusual offer: He’s willing to trade his 10,000-square-foot home on an 11-acre private park in Los Gatos for a stake in the social networking giant.

Silicon Valley has been bracing for a real estate boom with more than 1,000 Facebook employees expected to become stock-option millionaires. But Kenneth Raasch doesn't want cash. Raasch, who took Media Arts Group Inc. public in 1994, is asking $29 million in Facebook stock for the property, which has six bedrooms, a guest apartment and more than 7,000 square feet, according to a report in the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.

There has been a run on Facebook shares on the private markets, lifting Facebook's value to $100 billion.

“I’ve never seen a company that’s so transformative,” Raasch said. “I’d love to get in on it. I want to be a part of it.”

Raasch says he’s hoping a Facebook executive or investor might be interested in turning over some pre-IPO shares.

“I saw the Facebook investor [Yuri Milner], who bought a mansion in the Los Altos Hills for $100 million, is one of the top shareholders,” he told the business journal. “I wondered if he has any friends or knows Facebook people who’d be interested in a home. That’s how I came up with the idea.”

Raasch knows how to get attention. He’s chief executive of Creative Brands Group Inc., a brand management and licensing company.

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