LinkedIn prices shares at $32 to $35 for IPO

Ronny Kerr · May 9, 2011 · Short URL:

First-ever initial public offering for U.S. social network could raise up to $274.4 million

LinkedIn, the top networking site for professionals, has priced shares at $32 to $35 each for its initial public offering (IPO), which could raise up to $274.4 million. The company estimates that its net proceeds, based on an IPO price of $33.50 per share, would be about $146.6 million after expenses.

Last week, Chinese social networking site Renren raised $743 million for its own IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Dubbed the “Facebook of China” by some, Renren’s IPO excited investors because it was the first for a social site.

LinkedIn, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., will be the first U.S.-based social networking service to go public.

The site just reached 100 million members in mid-March, still a far cry from Facebook’s 600 million monthly active users, but the company continues to grow rapidly. It had 60 million members around the same time last year, and is still adding another million or so every week.

Mirroring its swelling membership are LinkedIn’s financials. The company posted net income of $3.4 million on revenue of $243.1 million last year; its revenue has more than doubled to $93.9 million in the last quarter from $44.7 million from the same period in 2010.

When it debuts on the New York Stock Exchange, LinkedIn will offer 4.8 million shares. Company stockholders, including founder Reid Hoffman, Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs and McGraw-Hill, will be selling three million shares.

Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan are managing the offering.

LinkedIn and Renren only represent the beginning, as a bevy of social sites and other hot technology companies are expected to hit the market over the next few years. Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, Zynga--the secondary markets aren’t frantic over these companies for nothing. Last we checked, LinkedIn was valued at nearly $3 billion on the secondary market.

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