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Airbnb boosts IPO price range as it looks to raise $3.09 billion

(Reuters) - Airbnb Inc expects to raise up to $3.09 billion in a stock market launch later this week after boosting its price range, capping a stunning recovery in its fortunes after it was heavily damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.

The U.S. home rental firm plans to sell 51.6 million shares at between $56 and $60 apiece, it said in a regulatory filing on Monday. It had earlier targeted a price range of between $44 and $50 per share for 51.9 million shares. (bit.ly/33QKApo)

At the upper end of the new range, Airbnb would have a fully diluted valuation, which includes securities such as options and restricted stock units, of $41.8 billion.

This is well above the $18 billion Airbnb was worth in an April private fundraising round in the early weeks of the pandemic in the U.S, and above the $31 billion in its last pre-coronavirus fundraising in 2017.

Its market capitalization at the top end of the range would be around $35.8 billion.

Airbnb struggled in the immediate aftermath of the virus outbreak as travel came to a grinding halt. But as lockdowns eased, more travelers opted to book homes instead of hotels, helping Airbnb post a surprise profit for the third quarter.

The company’s stock market debut will be one of the largest and most anticipated U.S. IPOs of 2020, which has already been a bumper year for flotations.

Airbnb was launched in 2007 as a website to take bookings for rooms during conferences, including the Democratic National Convention that year in Denver.

Some of Airbnb’s other investors include Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, as well as buyout firms General Atlantic and TPG.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the lead underwriters for the IPO.

Food delivery startup DoorDash also raised its IPO price range last week.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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