Billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship, before an IPO that values the social network at as much as $96 billion. The move could save him a significant amount on taxes.
Thirty-year-old Saverin, who lives in Singapore and was born in Brazil, has a 4 percent stake in Facebook, which could earn him nearly $4 billion from the IPO (FB) that’s slated for next week, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
“Eduardo recently found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time,” said Tom Goodman, a spokesman for Saverin, in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.
The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world to tax its citizens on income earned while they’re living abroad, and Saverin is among a growing number of individuals giving up citizenship ahead of tax rate increases.
Saverin met Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg while attending Harvard University, and previously had a disagreement with him over his ownership in Facebook. Saverin sued him and settled for an undisclosed amount. The dispute was featured in the 2010 movie ‘The Social Network,’ a take on the legal woes associated with the social networking site.
Saverin moved to the United States in 1992, and became a citizen in 1998, his spokesman said.
Facebook plans to announce its IPO on May 17, 2012. Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
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