Saverin dumps U.S. citizenship ahead of Facebook IPO
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:20AM EDT
SINGAPORE - Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship, a move expected to save him hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes stemming from the company's impending initial public offering.
The Brazil-born 30-year-old became a U.S. citizen in 1998 but has lived in Singapore since 2009. Giving up his citizenship will allow him to avoid paying taxes on billions of dollars of capital gains when Facebook launches its IPO Friday. Singapore does not have a capital gains tax.
Saverin gave up his citizenship in the first quarter of this year, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said.
"Eduardo recently found it to be more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time," Saverin's New York-based spokesman Tom Goodman said Tuesday in a statement.
Goodman said that because Saverin plans to invest in Brazilian and global companies that have strong interests in entering Asian markets, "it made the most sense for him to use Singapore as a home base."
Saverin has a 4 percent stake in Facebook, which has headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Analysts say the company could be worth US$100 billion.
Saverin, who moved to the U.S. from Brazil in 1992, founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 while the two were students at Harvard University. Saverin gained additional fame when his conflict with Zuckerberg and departure from the company was depicted in the 2010 movie "The Social Network."