Facebook IPO price at $38 a share

Fri, May 18, 2012, 01:00

FACEBOOK SET the final price of shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at $38 (€29.94) last night, the top of the price range it gave earlier, as investors clamoured to buy into the social network.

The company had raised the price range to $34-$38 a share, up from $28-$35. The expected price would value Facebook at $104 billion and looks likely to ensure it is the biggest technology flotation ever. With a potential share offering sized at $18.4 billion, the IPO will be the US’s second biggest, behind Visa’s $19.65 billion share sale in 2008. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who owns 28.1 per cent of the shares, will be propelled to the top tier of the super-rich.

The consultancy Wealth-X estimates his net pre-IPO fortune at $18.95 billion. When, and if, Facebook’s shares take off today, some are predicting a massive first-day rise, known as a “pop”, that would make Mr Zuckerberg richer than Larry Page or Sergey Brin, the Google founders whose wealth soared after their own IPO.

Wedbush Securities, the first firm to rate Facebook after it announced plans to sell shares, has set a 12-month price target of $44. – (Guardian service)