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Tableau-BEN_0622NEA, the huge Silicon Valley venture capital firm that invested early in Tableau Software, is cashing out a large portion of its shares six months after the Seattle software company debuted on Wall Street.

According to a filing with the SEC today, NEA plans to sell 5.57 million shares of class B stock as part of an upcoming stock sale, one which is to be priced at $60 per share. That’s about $334 million worth of the company’s stock.

NEA will still  hold 12 million shares after the offering, accounting for 26.8 percent of the voting power in the company.

It’s certainly not uncommon for venture investors to cash out their holdings, seeking returns for their own investors.

And given Tableau’s strong performance in the stock market, it could be a good time to sell. Shares are trading at $60 — nearly double the IPO price of $31 per share.

Of course, as an early investor, NEA didn’t buy at the IPO price. In fact, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm purchased 2.4 million shares at $5.90 as part of a tender offer in Sept. 2010, paying $14.1 million at the time.

At the current stock price, those shares alone are now worth $144 million.

In addition to NEA, several top executives at the company — including co-founders Christian Chabot, Patrick Hanrahan, and Christopher Stolte — are selling 200,000 shares. That will bring in about $12 million each to the founders.

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