BY JOHN P. McDERMOTT

jmcdermott@postandcourier.com

The biggest shareholder in Charleston-based software developer Benefitfocus Inc. is shedding some of its stake.

Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs & Co. plans to sell up to $100 million of the shares it owns in the Daniel Island company, according to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Benefitfocus will not receive any of the proceeds.

The timing of the sale has not been determined.

Goldman Sachs has been a major stockholder in Benefitfocus since January 2007, when it invested $106 million in the business.

The fast-growing technology firm makes cloud-based software tools that enable employees to compare, enroll in and manage their workplace benefits. The company's customers include large businesses and health insurance carriers.

At one point, Goldman Sachs owned about two-thirds of Benefitfocus. It sold more than 2.6 million shares for about $70 million when it took the local company public in September.

According to the most recent ownership disclosure, the New York-based investment bank controls about 11.38 million shares valued at $535 million as of Wednesday.

The proposed sale would cut its holdings by about 18 percent.

Goldma Sachs would have to sell about 2.1 million shares to raise $100 million based on the current stock price of $47.55.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.