The IPO, expected in a couple of weeks, would be the biggest ever for an Internet company. In a regulatory filing Facebook set a price range of $28-$35 per share for its initial public offering.
At the high end, Facebook and its current shareholders could raise as much as $13.58 billion — far more than the $1.9 billion raised in the 2004 offering for current
Internet IPO record-holder Google Inc. The IPO valued the company at $23 billion. Google is now worth about $200 billion.
Facebook Inc.'s IPO has been highly anticipated, not just because of how much money it will raise but because Facebook itself is so popular. The world's largest online social network has 900 million users.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who turns 28 this month, has emerged as a wunderkind leader who’s guided Facebook through unprecedented growth from its scrappy start as an online hangout for Harvard students.
Facebook's offering values the company at $76 billion to $95 billion, based on the expected number of Facebook shares following the IPO. That's about 2.74 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, an IPO investment adviser. The value is set by multiplying the number of shares by the expected stock price.
Facebook's next step is an “IPO road show,” where executives talk to potential investors about why they should invest in the stock.
Despite the frenzy surrounding Facebooks offering, not all IPO watchers are impressed. Francis Gaskins president of IPOdesktop.com, said Facebook's growth is “obviously slowing down. “The company is entering a maturation process,” Gaskins said. “I think their core business slowed more than they thought for the past four months.”
Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his dorm room in 2004, will keep tight control over the company even after the IPO. He will control 57.3 percent of the company's voting power. Zuckerberg will likely own about 31.5 percent of Facebook's outstanding stock after the IPO. At the high end of the expected IPO price range, his holdings will be worth $17.6 billion.
The top 10 Internet IPOs, according to Renaissance:
Google Inc., IPO on Aug. 18, 2004, $1.67 billion raised.
Yandex N.V., IPO on May 23, 2011, $1.3 billion raised.
Infonet Services Corp. (now part of BT Group PLC), IPO on Dec. 15, 1999, $1.08 billion raised.
Shanda Games Ltd., IPO on Sept. 24, 2009, $1.04 billion raised.
Zynga Inc., IPO on Dec. 15, 2011, $1 billion raised.
Giant Interactive Group Inc., IPO on Oct. 31, 2007, $887 million raised.
Renren Inc., IPO on May 3, 2011, $743 million raised.
Groupon Inc., IPO on Nov. 3, 2011, $700 million raised.
Orbitz Worldwide Inc., IPO on July 19, 2007, $510 million raised.
barnesandnoble.com (now part of Barnes & Noble Inc.), IPO on May 24, 1999, $450 million raised.
Photo: Mark Zuckerberg