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Facebook aims to raise up to $12 billion in record IPO

Facebook, Inc. plans to raise as much as $12 billion in Silicon Valley's largest-ever initial public offering on Thursday, with shares going for $28 to $35 and investors expected to turn out en masse.

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REUTERS - Facebook Inc plans to raise as much as $12 billion in Silicon Valley's largest IPO, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc and granting the world's largest social network a market value close to Amazon.com's.

The eight-year-old social network that began as Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room project priced its initial public offering at between $28 and $35 a share on Thursday, attaining a valuation of as much as $95.9 billion at the high end.

If an over-allotment or "greenshoe" option is triggered, the company could end up raising close to $13.6 billion, according to a Thursday prospectus.

Investors are expected to flock to the highly anticipated IPO, though some have voiced concerns about the social network's longer-term growth.

Last week, Facebook reported its first quarter-to-quarter revenue slide in at least two years, a sign that the social network's sizzling growth may be cooling just as it prepares to go public. Its stock should begin trading in about a week or two.

Facebook, which plans to list its stock on the Nasdaq under the ticker "FB", will begin meeting with investors on Monday.

Facebook's capital-raising target far outstrips big Internet IPOs that came before it. Google raised just shy of $2 billion in 2004, while last year Groupon tapped investors for $700 million and Zynga raked in $1 billion.

At close to $100 billion, Facebook's capitalization will rival Amazon.com's and Cisco Systems Inc's market values of just over $100 billion, while surpassing those of older technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc put together.
 

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