Facebook has been valued at a staggering $100bn (£62bn) in one of the final auctions of privately held stock in before its initial public offering (IPO), which is expected later this month.
Stock held by existing investors and staff at Facebook was sold off to investors on the SharesPost exchange for $44.10. This would give Facebook a total value of $102.8bn, outside of its IPO range of $75bn to $100bn.
The price achieved for the 150,000 shares sold was higher than at an auction held in March, according to SharesPost, when stock was traded at $40.50 a share.
Another stock auction is expected to take place on SecondMarket on Tuesday.
Facebook is hoping to secure $5bn with its IPO, which would be one of the largest internet-business IPOs on record.
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Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the social network which now has more than 845 million users, will keep a 28.4 per cent stake in the company, but will have 56.9 per cent of the votes. Zuckerberg’s slice of Facebook is valued at $28bn.
Facebook made $1bn (£631m) profit on $3.71bn revenue last year, an increase of 65 per cent on the previous year’s figures. Its revenues have gone up significantly from $777m in 2009, while profits have nearly quadrupled from $229m in the same year.
Meanwhile, technology writer and investor James Altucher believes Google could soon face legal action from a company over search-monetization patents.
Writing a blog post for TechCrunch, Altucher said a friend of his had purchased search-monetization patents from Lycos, which was a popular search engine before Google dominated the market.
Altucher claims his friend has formed a company with the patents and is now looking to merge with a public company called Vringo. He believes Vringo will use the patents it has acquired to seek money from Google.
Google has generated approximately $67bn of revenue from its search over the last 10 years, so successful legal action could prove to be a lucrative business for any company with a strong case.
Altucher has read Google’s description of how its search monetization works and has also seen all the relevant patents that Vringo could soon hold. He believes Vringo could mount a strong legal argument against Google.