Facebook announced on Thursday that it will sell 337.4 million shares at a price range of $28 to $35 in its initial public offering. According to the company’s filings with the SEC, Zuckerberg will be selling 30.2 million of his own shares.
Facebook Inc. (FB)’s $11.8 billion initial public offering will cement the status of 27-year-old Mark Zuckerberg as one of the world’s richest men and put his social network among the highest-valued companies in the U.S.
Zuckerberg, who began the service for Harvard classmates as a 19-year-old in his dorm room, built Facebook into the most popular social-networking site in the world, topping 900 million users last quarter. Now he has to prove he has the leadership skills to deliver enough growth to justify the company’s valuation.
Zuckerberg, who has developed a reputation for introducing new products quickly, helped the company supplant MySpace as the most popular social service while also navigating competitive threats from Google Inc., Twitter Inc. and other social-media sites. The company has expanded its appeal by enabling developers to build applications on top of the platform, offering users music, movies, e-commerce options and other extras.
According to the filing, most of that money will go to paying Zuckerberg’s taxes. Which, considering the 60 million shares the CEO will acquire through an outstanding stock option, are about to increase significantly. Facebook’s valuation of $88 billion or more would make it the most valuable U.S. company at the time of its IPO, which was most recently reported to be set for May 18.
The record is currently held by Google, which was valued at $23 billion when it went public in 2004.