It’s been a year and a half since Facebook’s initial public offering failed investor expectations. Twitter is looking to avoid the mistakes of its social media sibling by listing on the New York Stock Exchange instead of Nasdaq. But the two offerings will have at least one thing in common—early shareholders are going to walk away with a lot of money. Former Twitter CEO Evan Williams is expected to clear over $1 billion on an anticipated price of US$30 a share. But it’s not just executives who make bank during IPOs and acquisitions. Here are others who have cashed out big in the past (figures show what their shares were worth on IPO day).
$75 million (2009)
The Chinese-born NBA star’s stake in this Beijing-based GPS maker isn’t worth quite as much today—about $3.1 million.
$1.7 billion (2004)
$1.9 million +
Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz bought into Google on the ground floor. The shares the couple kept would be worth $16 million today. Thumbs up!
Sold to Coca-Cola for $4.2 billion (2007)
$60 million-$100 million
The rapper and Mets third baseman were each paid in equity to endorse the upstart sports beverage. Smart thinking. In Wright’s case, the $20-million payout was nearly as much as the Houston Astros payroll.
$700 million (2011)
The Starbucks CEO might wish he had cashed out of this couponing company when he had the chance. His shares are worth about $21 million today.
Hopes to raise $1 Billion on Nov. 15
Up to $700 million each
Only shareholders who own 5% or more of a company must be disclosed. Even so, Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men salary—at $24 million—could look like chump change.
$16 billion (2012)
The street artist provided murals for Facebook’s first headquarters. A known gambler, he made a good bet by taking equity.
His investment helped turn Usmanov into Russia’s richest oligarch in 2012.
$177 million +
Elevation Partners (of which Bono is a 1/7 owner) sold a heap of shares at IPO. The company’s remaining stake would be worth $1.8 billion today.