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Facebook raises $1.5 billion, about $1 billion of it overseas, will share financials by April 2012

January 21, 2011 |  6:36 pm

Leiqrinc

Facebook said Friday that it has raised the $1.5 billion from Goldman Sachs that it had been looking for, but only $1 billion of it came from overseas investors through the investment bank.

The leading social networking website, which has become a tech giant that many consider as powerful as Google, also said in a statement that it is likely to soon pass 500 shareholders "and therefore expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012."

Privately held Facebook currently doesn't publicly report its financial information.

In addition to the $1 billion in foreign investment, Facebook raised $450 million invested by Goldman Sachs itself and $50 million from the Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies.

The investment round puts Facebook at the widely reported and expected valuation of about $50 billion.

The Goldman funding round was originally supposed to include U.S. investors, but the investment bank excluded American financiers after a wave of media attention in the investment created possible legal problems in doing so for Facebook.

Digital Sky made its investment in December, Facebook said.

"Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing," David Ebersman, Facebook's chief financial officer, said in the statement.

"With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead."

Facebook said it had the option to take in between $375 million and $1.5 billion from Goldman's overseas investors, but chose to stick to just $1 billion.

The Palo Alto company also said it has no immediate plans on just what to do with the money raised. There is speculation that Facebook may be prepping itself for a 2012 IPO offering.

"Facebook will continue investing to build and expand its operations," Facebook said in the statement.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Signatures of the first 200 Facebook employees on a framed poster in the lobby of the company's Palo Alto headquarters Jan. 4, 2011. Credit: John G. Mabanglo / EPA

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