updated 06:25 pm EDT, Thu May 3, 2012
IPO valuation at least three times higher than Google
Facebook has finally set an official estimate for its initial public offering, which will offer individual shares for between $28 and $35. The pricing is said to equate to an estimated valuation ranging between $77 billion and $96 billion, slightly lower than the highest analyst estimates but far higher than any other Internet company.
The valuation contrasts to Google's IPO, which arrived in 2004 with a valuation of $24 billion. The Facebook valuation represents 24 times annual revenue, while Google's valuation at the time represented five times revenue, according to a Bloomberg report.
Approximately 337 million shares will be up for grabs, fetching $11.8 billion in the public sale, though chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will retail more than 500 million shares and a majority of the voting rights. Altogether, the company will have approximately 2.14 billion Class A and B common shares.
The IPO is being underwritten by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, among other firms. The company is expected to promote the offering early next week.