Facebook prices IPO between $28 and $35

Facebook and its selling stockholders could raise $10.6 billion in the company’s initial public offering, according to the company’s filing.

The social network said Thursday that it has set its IPO pricing between $28 and $35, according to paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is offering about 337.4 million shares of its stock.

The company’s IPO would be the tech industry’s largest-ever, eclipsing Google’s 2004 market debut.

The company said in its Thursday filing that it estimates it will net around $5.6 billion from shares it offers, assuming a price of $31.5o per share, while selling stockholders could make around $5 billion. The offering would put valuation of the company at $77 billion to $96 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook had been expected to have a valuation of up to $100 billion, based on private trading on the exchange SharesPost, where the company stock had commanded prices of over $40 per share.

The company confirmed on April 23 that it will offer its stock on the NASDAQ index with the ticker “FB,” but has not set a date to begin trading. Facebook is expected to start its roadshow to pitch the stock to investors on Monday, the Journal said, and will likely begin trading on May 18.

Facebook will offer two classes of common stock. Each share of Class A common stock is entitled to one vote; Class B shares will have 10 votes per share.

In the filing, the company said the chief executive Mark Zuckerberg plans on selling 30.2 million shares of Class A common stock as part of the public offering in order to pay taxes on a planned acquisition of 120 million more shares of Facebook stock.

Zuckerberg will have control over 57.3 percent of the company following the initial public offering, the company said in its filing.

Headed into its market debut, the company has more than 900 million monthly active users and logs 3.2 billion likes and comments per day. Profits from the last quarter fell 32 percent to $205 million, in part to due to its high-profile acquisition of the photo-sharing service Instagram and because of a $500 million deal with Microsoft for hundreds of patents formerly held by AOL. Sales declined around 6 percent to $1.06 billion.

The social network is also locked into a intellectual property battle with Yahoo over several patents related to various aspects of social networking and online advertising.

Facebook has listed intellectual property lawsuits as a risk factor on its prospectus, saying that it expects to be involved in patent lawsuits that “if resolved adversely, could have a significant impact on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.”

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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