Facebook IPO may now mop up USD 18 billion
New York: Encouraged by strong market demand, social networking site Facebook has increased the price band and number of shares for the initial public offer that could garner up to USD 18 billion. Facebook`s latest move regarding its much-awaited IPO seem to have generated immense interest among potential investors even as global stock markets continue to remain volatile amid European debt crisis.
The social networking major has increased the IPO price band to USD 34-48 per share from the earlier range of USD 28-35. The overall size of the offer has been raised 25 per cent to over 421 million shares from 337.41 million, according to the company`s regulatory filings. In addition, roughly 63 million shares have been earmarked for additional allotment to meet excess demand. This would allow Facebook to raise up to USD 18 billion. Facebook itself is offering 180 million shares, while existing stockholders would offer 241 million shares.
The offer is all set to hit the market on May 18. Facebook`s initial share sale is expected to become the second or third largest IPO ever in the US behind Visa and possibly General Motors. The 27-year-old CEO of Facebook — Mark Zuckerberg — who started the company eight-years ago in a Harvard dorm room, is now planning to sell 126 million shares compared to earlier level of 71 million. Post IPO, he would retain over 55 per cent voting right in the entity.
Others investors including Accel Partners and Goldman Sachs Group have also raised the number of shares they`re selling in the IPO. Accel would sell 49 million shares, an increase of 28 per cent from earlier quota. Digital Sky Technologies would offload 45.7 million shares, an increase of 74 percent compared to the previous target. Shares are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol `FB`. Going by estimates, the social networking site has more than 900 million users worldwide, including in India.