Wed, May 11, 2011 - Page 10 News List

LinkedIn seeks US$274m

‘LNKD’:The social networking company’s debut on the stock market will be closely watched for indicators on how a possible Facebook IPO might unfold next year

AFP, NEW YORK

LinkedIn said on Monday that it plans to offer 7.84 million shares priced at between US$32 and US$35 as it becomes the first major US social network to go public.

The Mountain View, California-based social network for professionals is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange within the next month and will use the symbol “LNKD.”

LinkedIn, which has more than 100 million members in more than 200 countries and territories, is seeking to raise as much as US$274.4 million from the initial public offering (IPO) with US$146.6 million going to the company itself.

LinkedIn will offer about 4.8 million shares to the public with the remaining 3 million coming from other shareholders.

LinkedIn’s biggest shareholder is its founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman, who owns more than 21 percent of the company.

The career-oriented social network had initially set an overall target of US$175 million when it registered for its IPO with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January.

LinkedIn’s debut on the stock market will be closely watched by investors ahead of a potential IPO next year by social networking titan Facebook, which has more than 500 million members around the world.

LinkedIn, in an updated filing with the SEC on Monday, said that it plans to use the money raised through the IPO to fuel future expansion.

LinkedIn, whose members cultivate and manage career or business networks in the online community, hit 100 million members in March. There are 44 million members living in the US and 56 million outside of the country.

LinkedIn grew by 428 percent in Brazil last year, by 178 percent in Mexico, by 76 percent in India and 72 percent in France.

The company more than doubled its revenue last year to US$243 million, according to its filing with the SEC, and reported a net profit of US$3.42 million last year after suffering a loss in 2009.

LinkedIn, however, said it does not expect to be profitable this year as it steps up investment aimed at generating further growth.

Its revenue comes from advertising, subscriptions for premium services, and “hiring solutions” that connect recruiters with candidates.

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