December 01, 2023 – OpenAI, the artificial intelligence startup, is reportedly sticking to its plan to allow employees to sell their company shares through a “tender offer,” granting them an additional month to consider selling their holdings, according to multiple sources.
Insiders had previously revealed that OpenAI has been in negotiations with investors regarding the sale of employee-owned shares, valuing the company at $86 billion. However, earlier this month, amid the tumultuous events of CEO Sam Altman being abruptly fired and then swiftly reinstated, concerns arose that the share sale might not proceed as planned.
A source familiar with the negotiations stated that many investors withdrew from the tender offer upon learning of Altman’s sudden dismissal. Still, with Altman’s reinstatement as CEO, investor demand and enthusiasm have been reignited, potentially compensating for the portion of investors who exited the deal.
The sources also mentioned that, in light of the recent upheaval, OpenAI is extending the deadline for employees to decide whether to proceed with the share sale to January 5th. Previously, the share sale was set to conclude in early December. Representatives from OpenAI declined to comment on the matter.
With a valuation of $86 billion, OpenAI ranks among the world’s most highly valued startups. Just a year ago, the company unveiled its chatbot ChatGPT, sparking a frenzy in the tech industry and establishing itself as one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent AI startups.
Companies with a minority of employee-owned shares often utilize such tender offers to give employees the opportunity to unlock the value of their holdings before an initial public offering (IPO), providing investors with a chance to acquire more shares.