Facebook raises IPO price range to $34-$38 due to strong demand

Facebook raised the price range for its IPO to $34 to $38 a share, from $28 to $35 a piece earlier. The move signals a strong demand from investors

New York: Social networking site Facebook has raised the price range for its initial public offering (IPO) to $34-$38 per share. Facebook is expected to garner additional $12.8 billion at the top end of the band, reports PTI.

Facebook said in a regulatory filing yesterday that it has raised the price range for its IPO to $34 to $38 a share, from $28 to $35 a piece earlier. The move signals a strong demand from investors.

Facebook, which will sell 337.41 million shares, is expected to raise about $12.8 billion at the top range of the stock price through the IPO.

With the new price range, Facebook would be valued at $93 billion to $104 billion.

It is expected to go public on 18th May and the stock will be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol 'FB'.

It's much anticipated IPO is expected to shadow that of other tech giants like Google which had raised $1.9 billion and valued the company at about $23 billion when it went public in 2004.

Facebook's 27-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to sell 30.2 million shares. He plans to use the proceeds to cover taxes. Zuckerberg would retain voting control of 58.8% of the company after the IPO.

Other stockholders who would be offering shares include the social network's early investors such as James Breyer of the venture capital firm Accel Partners, who's offering 38.2 million shares. Goldman Sachs is unloading 20% of its stake, or 13.2 million shares.

With 901 million users as of 31 March 2012, Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world and a magnet for advertisers.


Life Exclusive
Thrills and perils at the front desk

The hectic work at the front desk meant staff being alert all the time, but despite this there were some goof-ups that were resolved without much ado. The 34rd part of a series describing the unknown triumphs and travails of doing international business

Although the front desk associates had to be on their feet almost all the time, many of us developed sour feet and back pains; this was relieved by taking turns to go to the "back office" and relax for a few minutes at a time.

Smoking was prohibited in most areas and smokers had difficult time. They did have some rooms especially designed for smokers in most hotels, but occasionally we found that someone or the other had smoked in the banned areas. We were vigilant and had to ensure special cleaning in case somebody had done this mischief, as we did not want the new guest to lodge complaints, fall sick and resort to claims!
We had a strict check-out time at noon; many regular guests, who would be catching their flights back in the evenings, would dutifully deliver their luggage early in the mornings, to enable us to keep the rooms ready while some may delay their departures as late as possible!  We had a luggage counter, also manned by the front desk associates, and we would issue an ID tag, so that it could be returned on demand.
This was one area where most of us did receive some kind of tips and we had the baggages delivered to the vehicles (either our own coach to airport, or to the customer's car), so as to make their stay comfortable. Occasionally, we got into trouble too...
I remember we had a large group booking for a workshop; most of the guests knew each other and had come to attend every year. The group stayed on for two nights and three days. Our hotel was full and everyone was on his/her toes taking care of the guests. However, it so happened that two guests checked out at the same time and were leaving the hotel. One was being taken to the airport, while the other was living in Washington DC. The third guest, who was about to check out received a call and was told that the flight was indefinitely delayed due to storm conditions at her destinations. In that confusion of extending her stay, and two were leaving, her baggage, it appeared, was wrongly loaded with the exiting guests, which we did not know until we received her call from her room that the baggage delivered was not hers!
We rushed an associate to the airport, and luckily were able to meet the guest with her baggage, which was right. This meant that our guest's baggage had gone with the DC guest.  Our manager on duty, went in his car to the addressee's residence, and was able to retrieve the 'missing' baggage and bring it back to the hotel. We would have been in a mess, had the baggage gone with the passenger who was catching a flight!
In the meantime, the front desk associates were told that a surprise test was being carried out on all the new recruits, and the winner would be groomed to become the next supervisor. I think all of us did well, but Bernadette beat us all by a couple of points, and made the supervisor, with immediate effect! The human resources director told us that she was expecting all of us to score even and make it difficult for her to choose the candidate! They expect and train for 100% knowledge of hospitality work and responsibility, and 'cannot' afford any failures!
In the following month, I was selected as the employee of the month, which meant, for the winner, a simple cash prize of some 450, as an 'incentive'. This was done every month, and we had winners from various departments on a regular basis. These campaigns helped to keep our morale high.
We had an average of 80% occupancy throughout the year; but taken separately, on weekends it would drop considerably. Also, when we had storms of all kinds, flight cancellations and other such technical snags, we would have an influx of stranded passengers from the airport, who would really be looking for rooms. Not only these should preferably be near the airport, but inexpensive too.
After a detailed discussion with our sales director, we prepared a suitable letter. As I was doing guest relations, I went on a market study of the airlines operating at the Ronald Reagan airport, which was less than five minutes by a car. I met the manager on duty of every airline, spoke to them and persuaded them to issue a special ID to such passengers, who had become victims of circumstances and because of the cancellation of the flights, they be given special rates in the hotel. They were to be classified as "Distressed Passengers", which, they really were, considering the difficult position they were placed in and had to stay, unexpectedly, overnight, for no fault of theirs.
Such passangers were also given the voucher for stay at our hotel, but also a breakfast coupon for a sandwich. Invariably, the airlines would give us a call and let us know how many vouchers they had issued so that we could take care of them, because there were days when we had only a few rooms to give, particularly during the weekdays. There was no problem if flight cancellations had taken place on the weekends!
Needless to say, our occupancy increased. In the next few weeks, many other hotels in the area also began this practice but more importantly, our industry was coming to the rescue of the distressed passengers.
Since early morning flights took off from 6am onwards, we ensured that our night auditors took the extra burden of driving the guests to the airport; coffee/tea and packed breakfasts were also made available, and we began to cater to the needs of the distressed passengers, who in the past were left to fend for themselves!

However, if the climatic conditions did not improve, the passengers had to make other arrangements, if we had no rooms to offer, though, we did our best to accommodate them all the time.

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts. From being the advisor to exporters, he took over the mantle of a trader, travelled far and wide, and switched over to setting up garment factories and then worked in the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)


Public Interest Exclusive
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