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Facebook raises IPO price as offering nears

ALL EYES ON BIGGEST EVER INTERNET IPO

Written by Associated Press | Published: May 16, 2012 12:38:41 am

Facebook on Tuesday said in a regulatory filing that it now expects to sell its stock for between $34 and $38 per share,up from its previous range of $28 to $35.

The initial public offering is expected to be completed late Thursday and begin trading on the Nasdaq on Friday. The IPO is the most hotly anticipated in years and would value Facebook at more than $100 billion.

It is expected to be the largest ever for an Internet company and is expected to raise more than 10 times as much as the $1.67 billion raised in Google Inc.’s 2004 IPO.

Even after the IPO,Mark Zuckerberg will remain the single largest shareholder with 57 percent voting stock.

Facebook and its early investors are selling more than 337 million shares,but those shares are parcelled out very carefully,away from the public’s eyes. Typically individuals get to buy no more than 10-20% of shares sold at an IPO’s offering price. The vast majority will go to company insiders,institutional investors,the underwriters selected by the company to handle the process and preferred clients of all of them. The big online brokerages have been taking formal requests from customers for Facebook’s IPO. They anticipate they’ll get their own allocations from one source or another,such as one of the underwriters. Most people who like the idea of owning Facebook’s stock will have difficulty getting it at the offer price,which is now expected at $34-38 a share.

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