By Claire West

The Financial Times has reported that global investment manager; Blackrock is investing $80 Million in Twitter shares valuing the business at $9 Billion.

Although no-one from Blackrock was prepared to comment it is understood that the shares are being sold by early employees and that the social network is facilitating the sale to allow certain investment firms to have stock prior to an expected IPO.

Many of the 900 Twitter employees will have serious amounts of stock in the business and by arranging for them to sell their shares and realise cash there is less pressure on any future IPO.

Success stories like this prove the worth of stock-options both as a performance incentive and to enable start-ups to attract the best people. Pre-IPO stock options are also useful in ensuring that shareholders’ and employees’ interests are aligned.