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Facebook’s Pied Piper IPO Supposedly Priced at $28-$35

Pricing never happens until the night before an IPO

The great Facebook IPO is supposed to happen on Friday May 18.

The company's big investor-pitching pre-IPO roadshow is supposed to kick off this Monday and only see some appearances by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, according to the Wall Street Journal. CFO David Ebersman and COO Sheryl Sandberg will reportedly handle the bulk of the meetings. Initial East Coast meetings are supposed to be stuffed to the gills. But you can see the video now (http://facebook.retailroadshow.com/launch.html).

Real pricing never happens until the night before an IPO. But it claimed in a regulatory filing late Thursday that it's shooting for $28-$35 a share, a relatively broad range that values the joint at $96 billion under the magical $100 billion, leading the smart money to think it and its underwriters are aiming for a pop.

There'll be at least 337.4 million shares on offer. And there might be an overallotment. There will be class A and B stock after the IPO.

Early investors like Accel, Goldman Sachs, Russia's Digital Sky Technology and Microsoft are going to be selling some of 1547.4 million shares to Google's 180 million.

Mark Zuckerberg, who's about to turn 28, could be worth $16 billion-$19 billion and gets to keep 58% control over his creation according to promises made about voting. He'll only own 31.5% after the IPO. He himself has to sell 30.2 million of his 533.8 million shares to pay a whopping tax bill to cover his exercising stock options.

Figure he'll take home $5.5 billion.

Facebook itself is only likely to see about $5.6 billion.

Yahoo has tried to crimp Facebook's style by suing it for patent infringement - which is how Yahoo got a pre-IPO settlement out of Google - and now the Journal writes that national advertisers are having doubts about the effectiveness of ads on social media sites, leaving bankers to fret over their fashionable appraisals.

Facebook's Q1 revenues were up 37% year-over-year to $872 million but down 7.5% sequentially. It blamed "seasonal trends." Total revenue last year was $3.7 billion, up 88%.

Google, which is worth close to $200 billion, did $36.5 billion in ad revenue last year. It raised a mere $1.9 billion when it IPO'd in 2004 at valuation of ~$23 billion.

Its Nasdaq ticker symbol will be FB.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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