Facebook has finally set an official estimate for its initial public offering, which will offer individual shares for between $28 and $35. The pricing is said to equate to an estimated valuation ranging between $77 billion and $96 billion, slightly lower than the highest analyst estimates but far higher than any other Internet company.
The valuation contrasts to Google's IPO, which arrived in 2004 with a valuation of $24 billion. The Facebook valuation represents 24 times annual revenue, while Google's valuation at the time represented five times revenue, according to a Bloomberg report.
Approximately 337 million shares will be up for grabs, fetching $11.8 billion in the public sale, though chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will retail more than 500 million shares and a majority of the voting rights. Altogether, the company will have approximately 2.14 billion Class A and B common shares.
The IPO is being underwritten by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, among other firms. The company is expected to promote the offering early next week.