Banking and Capital Markets
September 11, 2012
The Trouble with Lockups
Recent IPO woes show that its time for the SEC to level the playing field for insider sales and make them more transparent.
By Udayan Gupta
Suddenly theres all this buzz about lockups. And all these questions.
Did Facebooks founding investor Peter Thiel really sink Facebook stock by selling about 20 million shares at $19.27 to $20.69 each on August 16 and 17 just days after the lockup expired?
How many shares of Groupon do its insiders still own, now that the lockup is over and the shares are selling at about $4 a share, nearly 80 percent lower than the IPO price of $20 a share?
Why did Yelp shares jump more than 20 percent the first day after its first lockup expired?
Lockups are nothing new to the IPO process. Indeed lockup expirations are more blog chatter than significant news. They refer to a period of time after a company has initially gone public, usually between 90 to 180 days, during which company insiders and major shareholders agree not to sell any of their shares unless they are permitted to do so at the discretion of the underwriter.....