Facebook hikes IPO range to raise US$12.1bil source


NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc has increased the price range in Silicon Valley's biggest-ever initial public offering to raise more than US$12 billion, a source familiar with the situation said, giving the No.1 social network a valuation potentially exceeding $100 billion.

The company founded in a Harvard dorm room by Mark Zuckerberg, who turned 28 on Monday, raised the price target to $34 to $38 a share in response to strong demand, from $28 to $35, the source said.

Wall Street had expected the company to increase the price range, with investors keen to get a slice of a strong consumer brand. The IPO roadshow began last week and has drawn crowds of investors from coast to coast.

Facebook plans to close the books on its IPO on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule, and in a signal that the landmark initial share sale is drumming up strong demand, a second source familiar with the deal told Reuters earlier.

The social network is scheduled on Thursday to price its shares, then begin trading on Friday.

The IPO is already "well oversubscribed," which is why the company is closing its books earlier than anticipated, the source said.

WHAT NEXT?

The higher price range marks an increase of 21 percent on the lower end. A hike of more than 20 percent typically means the company would have to file an amendment with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Company spokesman Jonny Thaw declined to comment on Monday.

The IPO comes amid concerns from some investors that Facebook hasn't yet figured out a way to make money from an increasing number of users who access the social network on mobile devices such as smartphones.

Facebook will continue with its roadshow for the rest of the week, said a third source familiar with the deal, and investors who haven't yet attended a roadshow presentation will still be able to place orders.

Company executives met with prospective investors in Chicago on Monday and are slated to travel to Kansas City and Denver, before returning to Menlo Park, California, where Facebook is headquartered.

CNBC reported the higher price range earlier, citing sources.

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