Facebook set for $100bn IPO valuation

Facebook has increased the price range for its initial public offering (IPO) to $34-38 per share, which could value the company at up to $104bn

Facebook has increased the price range for its initial public offering (IPO) to between $34 and $38 per share, which could value the company at up to $104bn.

Initially, Facebook set the share price at $28 to $35 per share, which would have capped the value of the company at around $95bn, but has upped the price in response to investor demand.

The latest range of share prices means its value at the time of the IPO could reach the $100bn valuation expected when Facebook first started talking about going public in late 2011.

Facebook will sell 337.4 million shares at its IPO, expected tomorrow, that will make it the highest flotation value to date for an internet firm, far outstripping Google's of just over $23bn in 2004.

The value of the company is expected to surge even higher when it begins trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Friday, according to the Telegraph.  

Facebook’s IPO was already oversubscribed a week ahead of the listing, leaving some investors that had placed large orders scrabbling around for more shares, the paper said.

Investors enthusiastic despite concerns

Observers said concerns over Facebook’s corporate governance and the long-term viability of the firm's business model appear to have done little to dampen investor enthusiasm.

Last week, Facebook warned investors that the rapid growth of its mobile apps threatens the company's long-term financial prospects as users abandon their PCs.

At the same time, however, it announced plans to launch its own app store, called "App Center", to promote mobile programs on Android and iOS that work using the social network.

The Facebook app store, expected to be launched soon, will provide a new revenue stream that will help cushion the losses as users move increasingly to mobile devices.

Investors have also raised concerns over Facebook’s dual-class shareholding structure, which they say will allow Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to continue running the social network as if it were a private company.

After the IPO, Zuckerberg will own 31.5% of outstanding stock, and is expected to control more than 57.3% of the voting power through shares and voting agreements with other stockholders.

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