Twitter flotation could raise $2 billion

Twitter has submitted an amendment to the Securities Exchange Commission increasing the estimated initial public offering (IPO) value of its shares to between $23 (£14.3) and $25.

This bumps up the social networking site's previous upper estimate by 25 per cent from $20 and its lower estimate up by 35 per cent from $17.

If it achieves the top of the price range, Twitter will be valued at $17.4 billion including restricted stock units and options - the largest tech flotation since Facebook.

The company has been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TWTR.

Ordinarily tech firms tend to list on the Nasdaq exchange, but it is thought Twitter chose the NYSE after Facebook's IPO was plagued with glitches.

The flotation is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities.

They are targeting the sale of 70 million shares to an institutional investor base. Twitter is due to price its shares on Wednesday and start trading on NYSE on Thursday.

Anecdotal comment reported by the Financial Times indicated the offering was oversubscribed and bankers would stop taking orders today.

An offer at the top end of the valuation would see Twitter raise $2 billion, compared with the aim of $1 billion reported at the start of October.

This would net it more than the $1.9 billion raised by Google when it floated in 2004.

Google had already been profitable for five years by that stage, and according to the Financial Times was generating $1 billion in annual revenues.

Twitter saw revenue of $316.9 million in 2012 up from $106 million in 2011, but still witnessed a net loss of $79 million last year.

In the first half of this year revenue more than doubled year-on-year to $253.7 million, from $122 million in the same period last year, but losses also widened, with the company recording a loss of $69 million during the six-month period.

This story was written by our sister website www.iii.co.uk

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