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Facebook raises $16 billion in IPO making it 3rd largest IPO in US history
Facebook raises $16 billion in IPO making it 3rd largest IPO in US history
By: iMedia News Bureau

Facebook has raised $16 billion in an initial public offering that valued it at $104 billion and making this the largest IPO of an Internet company. The social network’s value is a monstrous $104.12 billion. Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook put up 421 million shares of its common stock up for sale late yesterday at a price to the public of $38 per share.

Facebook's IPO is larger than those of computer behemoths HP and Dell, combined. Google, which began publicly trading in 2004, raised only $1.67 billion in its IPO.

In addition, Facebook and the selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 63,185,042 additional shares of Class A common stock to cover over-allotments, if any, it added.

The social network on Wednesday upped the range of the offering by 25 percent. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook set a new target of $34 to $38 per share, up from $28 to $35. Shares will begin trading on the NASDAQ on Friday under the ticker symbol "FB."

Welcoming the IPO, the company is holding an overnight “hackathon” where engineers stay up all night writing programming code to come up with new features for the site.

As the largest player in the social media arena, Facebook has enjoyed blue-chip status from the start, with investors worried about missing out on what could be the next Google. The social network will also soon join the Nasdaq 100, the technology index, so money managers looking to track the benchmark will join the swell of demand in the coming months.

At $16 billion, the size of Facebook’s IPO is the third-largest for a US company, with the largest being the Visa IPO, which raised $17.9 billion in 2008, according to Renaissance Capital. At a market value of $104 billion, investors think Facebook is sitting on gold.

Investors who buy Facebook shares are taking a stake in a unique and potentially valuable business. But they are also exposing themselves to the risks posed by a relatively young company operating in uncharted territory.