2 Feb 2012

Stockmarket float by Facebook

1:04 pm on 2 February 2012

Facebook has announced plans for a stock market flotation. The social networking site will seek to raise $US5 billion, about half the amount many analysts expected.

But the initial public offering is still expected to be the biggest sale of shares by an internet company.

Facebook was started by Harvard University students eight years ago. It now has 845 million users and made a profit of $US1 billion last year.

The BBC reports Facebook filed its intention to float with the Securities and Exchange Commission after stock markets closed in the United States on Wednesday.

The documents revealed for the first time information about the company that had previously been the subject of speculation.

This included news that Facebook's net income in 2011 rose 65% to $US1 billion, off revenues of $3.71 billion.

It was disclosed that founder Mark Zuckerberg owns 28.4% of Facebook, and also that the network now has 845 million monthly users and 443 million daily users.

The $US5 billion being raised would be the most for an internet initial public offering since Google and its early backers raised $US1.67 billion in 2004.