"Facebook is exploring permitting a tender offer up to USD 1 billion of its employee shares, after being approached by a number of big institutional investors about investing in the company," technology news website All Things Digital reported citing a source.
The report noted that interest is high among big institutional investors who want a piece of Facebook before its inevitable initial public offering (IPO), the report noted.
Facebook's current valuation is estimated to be USD 60 billion, which is a significant increase to a recent USD 1.5 billion investment by Goldman Sachs and its international clients that had pegged the social networking behemoth at a USD 50 billion valuation, it added.
The news of Facebook's potential share sale surfaced after media reports said that Facebook and Google held low-level talks over the possible acquisition of the micro-blogging site Twitter. The price for the fast growing site is said to be between USD 8 billion and USD 10 billion.
The move would allow Facebook employees to monetise their privately held shares, since the company is not likely to have an IPO for at least a year, the technology site said.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg had taken a similar move in mid-2009, when one of its major investors, DST, forked over USD 100 million for employee shares in a transaction that was in addition to a USD 200 million investment.