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Facebook sets $28-35 price range for IPO

At this range, the social networking giant will be valued between $77-96 bn

Press Trust of India  |  New York/Houston 

Facebook, which is gearing to launch its later this month, today said the offering will be priced between $28-35 a share.

In a regulatory filing, said it will sell 337.41 million shares and the initial public offering price will be between $28 and $35 per share. At this range, the company will be valued between $77-96 billion.

Taking into account the top range of the stock price, could raise about $11 billion through the The company is expected to go public on May 18 and the stock will be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol 'FB'.

Depending on the final value, the could be one of the largest of a US firm on Wall Street, behind the 2008 offering of Visa ($17.8 billion) and General Motors ($15.7 billion) in 2010 , according to Renaissance Capital.

At the midpoint it could be the same amount of the third largest, AT&T, which raised $10.6 billion in 2000.

Facebook's 27-year-old CEO is planning to sell 30.2 million shares, worth $951 million. He plans to use the proceeds to cover taxes.

Other stockholders who would be offering shares include the social network's early investors such as James Breyer of the venture capital firm Accel Partners, who's offering 38.2 million shares. Goldman Sachs is unloading 20% of its stake, or 13.2 million shares.

According to the filing, Zuckerberg would retain voting control of 58.8% of the company after the

Ahead of its IPO, also launched a 30-minute video about its 'roadshow' which features Zuckerberg talking about the company's growth and future prospects.

"I grew up with the internet. When I was in middle school, I was using search engines like Google and Yahoo," Zuckerberg says in his opening line in the video presentation.

"Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. We think people's lives will be better and really the whole world will function better when there is more information and understanding out there," he adds.

Facebook's executives like Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Finance Chief David Ebersman will travel to cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago for the roadshow, talking to potential investors about why they should invest in the stock.

Facebook's has attracted nearly 30 underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

With 901 million users as of March 31, 2012, is considered the most popular social networking site in the world and a magnet for advertisers.

First Published: Fri, May 04 2012. 15:39 IST