LinkedIn files for IPO; Could be big year for Web IPOs

NEW YORK Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:51pm EST

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner talks to reporters during the Reuters Technology Summit in San Francisco, California May 17, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner talks to reporters during the Reuters Technology Summit in San Francisco, California May 17, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In what could signal a big year of Internet initial public offerings, social networking website LinkedIn Corp announced plans on Thursday to float shares to the public.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined, according to the form S-1 registration statement the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

LinkedIn revealed its plans to raise capital in the public markets a day after Internet company Demand Media raised roughly $151 million in its initial public offering, and come as investor-interest and valuations are surging for privately-held Web companies like Facebook, Zynga and Groupon.

Earlier this week, Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason said the company was considering an IPO and was in talks with bankers.

LinkedIn had $161.4 million in net revenue with $1.85 million in profit in the first nine months of 2010, according to the filing.

In contrast, Facebook, which has far more users worldwide, had $1.2 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2010 and $355 million in profit, according to a Goldman Sachs prospectus pitching the company earlier this month to investors.

LinkedIn, which caters to professionals, has 90 million users, compared with the more than 500 million users of Facebook's mainstream social networking service.

Facebook recently raised $1.5 billion in funding in a deal that valued the company at $50 billion.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and JPMorgan are among the book runners for the LinkedIn offering.

A portion of the shares will be issued and sold by the company, while a separate portion will be sold by certain stockholders of LinkedIn, the filing said. No specific details were disclosed.

LinkedIn's investors include Greylock Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs and Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm that has backed Yahoo, Google, Apple Cisco Systems and Oracle.

(Reporting by Nadia Damouni in New York and Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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