PALO ALTO, Calif. (
, the world's most popular social networking site, has set up a dual-class stock structure emulating
strategy in perhaps a sign that it is preparing for an initial public offering.
Facebook, however, said an IPO wasn't imminent.
"We did introduce a dual-class stock structure because existing shareholders wanted to maintain control over voting on certain issues, to help ensure the company can continue to focus on the long term to build a great business," said Larry Yu, a Facebook spokesman, told
. "Facebook has no plans to go public at this time."
Facebook has converted all shares held by existing shareholders, common stock options and restricted stock units to Class B stock, which carry 10 times the voting power of Class A stock, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing a person who has seen documents outlining the plan.
The use of a dual-class of shares helps protect the voting control of a narrow group of investors, in this case Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Google adopted this practice in 2004 before it went public when Class B shares were issued to co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Zuckerberg said in May that an IPO was "a few years out,"
Dual-class shares also have been adopted by media houses such as
New York Times