Facebook IPO raises $16 billion

Facebook’s initial public offering of stock is shaping up to be one of the largest ever. The world’s definitive online social network is raising at least $16 billion for the company and its early investors in a transaction that values Facebook at $104 billion.

It’s a big windfall for a company that began eight years ago with no way to make money.

Facebook priced its IPO at $38 per share on May 17, at the high end of expectations. The IPO values Facebook higher than Amazon.com and other well-known companies such as Kraft, Disney and McDonald’s.

Facebook’s stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market sometime May 18 under the ticker symbol “FB.” That’s when so-called retail investors can try to buy the stock.

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