May 12, 2012- One of the co-founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, has renounced his American citizenship. Saverin did this ahead of the company’s IPO that is expected to take place during the month. A spokesman for Saverin said that he recently realized it was more practical to be a resident in Singapore, since his plan is to live their indefinitely.
Saverin was born in Brazil and made an investment of $1,000 in Facebook. He and Mark Zuckerberg both attended Harvard at the time and his $1,000 initial investment represented 34% of the business. Saverin said his share was diluted to less than a percent at one time and he started legal action. He also penned a bestseller about the topic and its film version that won three Oscars.
Saverin and Zuckerberg eventually came to a settlement and nothing has been said about the issue. However, part of the deal was to have his name used as a company co-founder on the masthead of the company. It is thought he received about 5% of the company in the negotiation. If the IPO is as successful as many think it will be, that share could be worth nearly $3 billion.
There is no capital gains tax in Singapore; therefore by renouncing his American citizenship before the actual IPO it could save him a large sum of money. Saverin has lived in Singapore since 2009 and has become a popular celebrity there. His spokesman said Singapore is his home base to watch over investments in Brazil and Asia.