The regulator of the North American real estate market opened an investigation process to find out how the transaction of interests in private companies not listed on the stock exchange is being carried out. The information is advanced today by various media in the country, which include names of companies such as Facebook and Twitter among those targeted.
According to «sources with knowledge of the ongoing investigation», the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will have sent letters to several investors who have acquired stakes in the companies, asking questions about, for example, how the quotas were assessed.
The investigation follows the growing popularity of online platforms such as SharesPost or SecondMarket, which facilitate the acquisition of stakes in leading companies in the Internet sector, reports Reuters.
The Wall Street Journal, which provides some of the known information on the matter, said it tried to obtain a comment from a SEC spokesman, who declined to comment.
The Financial Times adds that one of the regulator’s objectives may be to understand whether the existence of investment funds (financed by several participants) is distorting the application of a SEC rule that exempts companies with less than 500 shareholders from reporting to the all relevant financial information to the market. According to the same source, this was one of the reasons that led Google to become a publicly traded company.
In the past few months, Facebook’s value has risen more than 50 percent, while Twitter’s has more than doubled. The growth of these types of companies attracts investors and has led former employees and holders of shares that were at the origin of the companies to choose to sell their shares – outside the control of the SEC, as they are not listed companies.