Facebook gears up for IPO

Facebook Inc. is boosting the number of shares for sale in its initial public offering to 421 million, letting it raise as much as US$16bn
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Facebook will increase the size of its initial public offering by 25 percent, a source familiar with the matter said, and could raise as much as US$16bn as strong investor demand for a share of the number one social network trumps debate about the company's long-term potential to make money.(Bloomberg)
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Those concerns over revenue growth were underscored earlier on Tuesday, when General Motors said it planned to pull out of advertising on Facebook. (Bloomberg)
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Facebook, founded eight years ago by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room, will add about 85m shares to its IPO, floating about 422m shares in an offering expected on Friday, the source told Reuters, declining to be identified because the information was confidential. (Bloomberg)
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The expanded size, coupled with Facebook's recently announced plans to raise the IPO price range, would make Facebook the third-largest initial share sale in US history after Visa and GM. Facebook declined to comment on the increased IPO size, which was first reported by CNBC on Tuesday. (Bloomberg)
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The social networking company is drumming up massive demand for the offering even as slowing revenue and user growth spur questions about the long-term Facebook story.. (Bloomberg)
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"This is much more a spectacle, a media event and a cultural moment than it is an IPO," said Max Wolff, an analyst at GreenCrest Capital. "This is not a game of models and fundamentals at this point." (Bloomberg)
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GM's announcement, while ill-timed, should not seriously hurt Facebook's IPO reception for now as it may not be representative of advertisers' overall attitude, said Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group. "The demand for the IPO probably won't be affected materially by this," he said, noting, however, there were probably a lot of calls between underwriters and investors following GM's announcement. (Bloomberg)
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The IPO, Silicon Valley's largest, eclipses the roughly US$2bn debut by Google in 2004. (Bloomberg)