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In biggest US Internet offering, FB joins IPO club

Washington : Facebook has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise at least $5 billion for the world’s largest social network, according to documents posted on the US Securities and Exchange Commission website.

The deal could raise as much as $10 billion and value the social network at between $75 billion and $100 billion, valuing Facebook as the biggest US Internet offering ever, overtaking Google which raised $1.9 billion in 2004 with a $23 billion valuation.

“There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future,” Facebook’s owner and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, aged 27, said in a letter that accompanied the filing.

The filing was made online with the SEC in Washington late Wednesday. The timing of the IPO, the price of offering and the stock exchange for the company’s IPO are yet to be specified.

Russian Internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which owns the Mail.ru mailing system, Odnoklassniki.ru social network site and ICQ instant-messaging service, increased its stake in Facebook last year to 10 percent in a $500 million investment deal.

DST was established in 2005 by Russian metals magnate and billionaire Alisher Usmanov and businessmen Yury Milner and Grigory Finger.

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