It looks like professional social network LinkedIn will open in public markets this Thursday. Rumors of an IPO have been floating around since the beginning of the year. LinkedIn will mark the first major U.S. social network to go public, and will likely serve as a “barometer” for others in the future.
According to The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, the stock will launch Thursday on the NYSE under the name LNKD. LinkedIn will price its offering of 7.8 million shares somewhere between $32 and $35. That means that their initial valuation will be somewhere between $3 billion and $3.3 billion.
LinkedIn has already been traded on secondary markets like SharesPost and SecondMarket at anywhere between $8.75 to $31 a share.
“We cannot assure you that the price of our Class A common stock will equal or exceed the price at which our securities have traded on these private secondary markets,” LinkedIn has said.
At last reporting, LinkedIn had over 100 million members. In comparison, Facebook has over 600 million. There are rumors that Facebook’s IPO may be coming in 2012, and some have speculated that it could be valued at an unbelievable $100 billion.
Another social company rumored to be in talks for an IPO is daily deals provider Groupon. After turning down a generous offer from Google ($23 billion), it has been rumored that Groupon could conduct a $25 billion IPO as early as this year.
LinkedIn’s stock will have a dual-class structure. This means that there will be two types of shares – Class A and Class B. LinkedIn founders and early investors will have Class B shares which will have 10 stockholder votes per share. The general public will have Class A shares, with one vote per share.
According to the WSJ, Executive Chairman Reid Hoffman will hold Class B stock the will represents 21.7% of the voting power.
Today, AOL announced the launch of AOL industry, a media outlet that will track specific sectors of industry. It will begin with sites in the Energy and Defense sectors. It will have full LinkedIn integration to facilitate connections between news-makers in these certain industries.