Twitter boosts IPO range amid strong investor demand

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Twitter raised the top end of its IPO price range by 25 percent and will close its books a day early, signaling strong demand for the most closely watched Silicon Valley debut since Facebook Inc last year.

Amid a red-hot market for initial public offerings and soaring equity markets, Twitter raised its price range to $23 to $25 per share on Monday, but kept the offering size at 70 million shares. That means it will raise up to $2 billion if an overallotment option of 10.5 million shares is exercised.

Sources close to the situation said demand among institutional investors was so strong that the final pricing is likely to go even higher than the new range announced on Monday. The sources declined to be identified because the sales process is not public.

The microblogging network, which has yet to turn a profit, has amassed 230 million users in seven years, including heads of state, celebrities and activists. About half of all US adult Twitter users said they get news through the social media platform, according to a Pew Research survey.

Twitter is the best known Silicon Valley company to go public since Facebook, though it is seeking a far smaller valuation of up to $13.6 billion compared to Facebook's $100 billion.

One of the sources said Twitter's IPO is now "massively" oversubscribed and underwriters are looking to select investors who plan to hold the stock for a longer duration rather than traders wanting to do a quick flip.

Some funds that ordinarily do not buy IPO shares were seeking allocations of up to 10 percent, but were unlikely to get them, according to the source who requested anonymity.

Twitter plans to close the books on the IPO on Tuesday at 12 pm EST (1700 GMT), a day earlier than scheduled, because of strong demand, according to two sources with knowledge of the process.

The IPO is set to price on Wednesday, with shares to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The previous price range was $17 to $20 a share.

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