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concern many have had with Palantir is the lock-up period, which ends on
February 19th (Friday).
shares are now unlocked for trading, the result of an unusual restriction
placed on stockholders when the data software company went public. Such lockups
are common after initial public offerings but less so for companies that list
their shares directly on an exchange, as Palantir did on the New York Stock
Exchange in September.
investors said in interviews that they will hold, but at least one other,
billionaire George Soros, has publicly signaled his plans to exit.
amassed a long list of shareholders in the nearly two decades since it was
founded. But starting in September, only a fifth of their shares could be
traded. On Thursday, almost all stockholders got the option to sell as much as
they’d like for the first time.
expiration of a lockup is a volatile time for any company but could be
especially so for Palantir, which was privately held for an exceptionally long
time and which courts a great deal of controversy. Its co-founder and chairman
is Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist who backed Donald Trump’s successful bid
for the U.S. presidency and became a pariah in Silicon Valley. Palantir, which
relocated from the Valley to Denver, works with the military, immigration
enforcement and intelligence agencies, all of which draw public scrutiny and
howls for surveillance overreach.