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October 03, 2014

GoPro Head's $500-Million Stock Gift Sends Share Price Down

Shares in camera-maker GoPro, which had a wildly successful initial public offering in June, took a dive Thursday after CEO Nicholas Woodman and his wife pledged 5.8 million shares to a new family charity, sidestepping rules that typically bar a company's insiders from selling stock within six months of an IPO, CNNMoney and The Wall Street Journal report.

The donation came one day after the newly minted billionaires announced the formation of the Jill + Nicholas Woodman Foundation, a donor-advised fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. JPMorgan, the underwriter of GoPro's IPO, allowed the transaction to sidestep the "lockup" rule aimed at preventing downward pressure on a new stock.

The gift caught investors off-guard and sent shares in GoPro down 14 percent before they rebounded to close at 6.9 percent down. A Silicon Valley Community Foundation official said the organization has no immediate plans to sell the stock, currently valued at about $500-million. GoPro makes small, wearable cameras that can record high-definition video.