Mark Zuckerberg and wife sell $95 million in Facebook shares to fund philanthropy

Marcy Oster

Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaking Mobile World Congress 2015 at the Fira Gran Via complex in Barcelona, Spain, March 2, 2015. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, March 2, 2015. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, sold company shares valued at nearly $95 million to fund their charitable efforts.

The funds reportedly were sold by the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation and CZI Holdings LLC, both owned by the couple, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The price of the shares ranged from $122.85 to $124.31. The sale reportedly was scheduled months ago to avoid insider trading issues.

Late last year Zuckerberg and Chan pledged to give away 99 percent of their shares in the company “during our lives” to charity. The pledge, then worth approximately $45 billion, came in a Facebook post on Dec. 1, 2015, announcing the birth of their daughter, Max.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was formed to fund charities, companies and policies for “advancing human potential and promoting equality,” according to its website.

“We will make long-term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years because our greatest challenges require time to solve,” the site said.

The initiative is a limited liability corporation instead of a foundation, which allows it to participate in public advocacy and invest in businesses or other entities whose profits will be used to support the initiative’s work, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.