Twitter sets IPO price at $26 per share to raise at least $1.8 bn

Twitter on Wednesday priced its initial public offering above its expected range to raise more than $1.8 billion, according to a source, in a sign of strong investor demand for the most highly anticipated US public float since Facebook Inc .

The microblogging network priced 70 million shares at $26, above the expected range of $23 to $25, which had already been raised once before.

Twitter Inc is likely to price its hotly anticipated initial public offering later on Wednesday above an already bumped-up target range, according to sources familiar with the process.

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A person holds a magnifying glass over a computer screen displaying Twitter logos. Reuters

The sources, who declined to be named because the process is not public, said on Wednesday the price could hit as high as $28.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc , which is largely controlling the underwriting process, declined to comment.

The underwriters are trying to walk a delicate line between getting the best price for Twitter management while avoiding the pitfalls of the May 2012 IPO for Facebook Inc , whose shares fell on their first trading day on concern the underwriters had overvalued the company.

Jerry Jordan, manager of the $48.6 million Jordan Opportunity Fund who has Facebook as the biggest position in his portfolio, said Twitter's roadshow presentation was much stronger than Facebook's in that it really spoke to how the company was going to monetize its business.

"It was one of the most impressive IPO presentations I have ever seen," he said. The presentation was so convincing that Jordan, who had planned to stay away from Twitter for the time being, has put in for a pre-IPO allocation, he said, declining to say how much he requested.

Microblogging network Twitter, which has yet to turn a profit, has amassed 230 million users in seven years, including heads of state, celebrities and activists. About half of all U.S. adult Twitter users said they get news through the social media platform, according to a recent Pew Research survey.

Twitter hiked its target IPO price on Monday to a range of $23 to $25 a share from an initial range of $17 to $20, meaning it would raise up to $2 billion.

Twitter is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, under the ticker TWTR.

Reuters

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 23:48:52 IST