Facebook’s forthcoming initial public offering may not raise the $10 billion early reports had suggested, and it may not value the social media giant at $100 billion as predicted – but the details expected to be released Wednesday would still make Facebook the biggest tech IPO ever. Google’s ballyhooed 2004 IPO, by comparison, raised $1.67 billion and valued the company at $23.1 billion (but now, more than seven years later, the search leader has a valuation close to $190 billion).
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A relatively small number of companies have valuations north of $100 billion, and a valuation that high would place Facebook in the ranks of global giants like PepsiCo ($102 billion), McDonald’s ($101 billion) and Anheuser-Busch InBev ($97 billion).
Even if Facebook’s IPO values the company at a lower level around $75 billion, that would still place the company among the 60 or so largest publicly traded companies in the world. Industrial giant Caterpillar has a market cap of $71 billion. The Walt Disney Company is valued at $70 billion. Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, American Express, Goldman Sachs, News Corp., Nike and the Ford Motor Company all have valuations below $60 billion.
Even if Facebook had raised $10 billion, that would have made its IPO the sixth largest in U.S history, and the 15th largest worldwide, according to Renaissance Capital, a research firm based in Greenwich, Conn.
Click through our photo gallery for a ranking of the 14 global IPOs that have all raised significantly more than Facebook’s expected haul. Each of these offerings raised more than $10 billion.