Twitter takes wraps off $1bn float plans

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Social networking site Twitter has unsealed the documents for its planned initial public offering (IPO) and says it hopes to raise up to $1 billion (£618 million).

The company revealed that it generated $317m in revenues last year and that it had more than 218 million active users as of the end of June, up 44 per cent from a year earlier. That compares with Facebook’s nearly 1.2 billion and LinkedIn’s 240 million users.

Twitter disclosed last month that it had filed confidential IPO papers to start the process of going public. Last-night, the San Francisco-based firm unsealed the papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The micro-blogging service booked a larger loss in the first half of this year than a year earlier, but it grew sales. The company lost $69.3m in the first six months of 2013, compared with $49.1m for the same period last year. Revenues more than doubled to $254m, from $122m a year ago.

Twitter did not say which stock exchange it plans to list its shares on, although it intends to use the ticker symbol TWTR.

The underwriters of the offering are BofA Merrill Lynch, Code Advisors, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley.

Twitter’s IPO has been long expected. The company has been ramping up its advertising products and working to boost ad revenue in preparation. But it is still tiny compared with Facebook, which saw its hotly-anticipated IPO implode last year amid worries about its ability to grow mobile ad revenue.

Twitter’s money-making potential has given the company an estimated market value of $10bn, based on the appraisals of venture capitalists and other early investors.