Facebook Class B shares explained

Facebook kicks off its roadshow Monday for the company’s initial public offering, which is expected to raise US$5 billion for the company. Facebook, which trade under will trade under the ticker “FB, will have two share classes: Class A and Class B.

Class A shares will be sold to the public and traded on the Nasdaq. Class B shares will be privately held by Facebook insiders, principally Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg’s B shares will carry 10 times the voting weight of class A shares. So while he owns just 28% of the company, Zuckerberg will control 57% of the voting rights.

As such, the majority owners of Facebook will have little sway over the direction of the company.