Facebook Goes Public


Facebook's stock is set to begin trading on the Nasdaq today (May 18th), one day after the social networking giant raised $16 billion in an initial public offering that valued the company at at whopping $104 billion, more than well-known companies like Kraft, Disney and McDonald's.

Facebook priced its IPO at $38 per share, at the top of expectations. Facebook's valuation is the third-highest in an IPO, topped only by two Chinese banks, one in 2010 and the other in 2006.

By the amount raised, Facebook ranks third among U.S. IPOs, behind Visa, which raised $17.9 billion in 2008, and power company Enel.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will remain the company's largest shareholder, with 32 percent of total shares, and will control the company with 56 percent of its voting stock as a result of agreements he has with other shareholders who pledge to vote his way.

The Facebook Nasdaq stock market symbol ‘FB.’ Nasdaq said that the stock should begin trading about 11 a.m. ET.

The deal makes Zuckerberg very wealthy, with his stake valued at about $20 billion.