Facebook looks to raise billions by going public | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 04.05.2012
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Facebook looks to raise billions by going public

The world's leading social network website, Facebook, is looking to secure billions in a public offering of stocks planned for mid-May. But questions remain on whether it will be able to keep up momentum.

Facebook is hoping to raise close to $12 billion (9.2 billion euros) in an initial public offering. The company behind the world's leading social networking website ha scheduled the IPO for May 18, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The stock offering is set to value the firm at around $90 billion. Facebook announced it would sell 337.4 million shares in a price range of $28 to $35 each. The company's entry into the stock market is already being billed as the biggest initial public offering in Internet history.

"We certainly haven't seen a tech IPO on this grandiose a scale," Lisa Buyer from the Class V Group IPO advisory firm told Reuters news agency. Google's debut back in 2004 raised only $1.7 billion, with the search giant initially valued at $23 billion. But now the company is worth $200 billion.

Nagging questions

Investors are expected to flock to the highly anticipated IPO of Facebook, although analysts have been expressing concerns about the eight-year-old social network's longer-term growth perspective.

"For a company that's already that big and that's raising this much money the question is how many of the glory days of growth are in the past versus how many are ahead," Buyer argued.

Last week, Facebook reported its first quarter-on-quarter slide in revenues in over two years. Economic pundits viewed this as a sign that the social network's sizzling growth might be cooling down. A particular area of concern has been Facebook's lack of revenue on smartphones and other mobile devices.

hg/ng (Reuters, dpa)