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Twitter seeks up to $1.61 bn in IPO

A Twitter tweet announcing the company's planned initial public offering (IPO) is pictured on a mobile telephone in Madrid on October 4, 2013
A Twitter tweet announcing the company's planned initial public offering (IPO) is pictured on a mobile telephone in Madrid on October 4, 2013

Twitter raised the value of its initial public offering Thursday to as much as $1.61 billion as the popular messaging service moved a step closer to Wall Street.

In regulatory documents, Twitter boosted the IPO amount from an earlier estimate of $1 billion, saying it would sell 70 million shares in a price range between $17 and $20 a share.

The document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission said Twitter will have an option for 10.5 million additional shares if there is enough demand.

The IPO suggests a market value for the social network of between $9.3 billion and $11.1 billion.

The documents gave no date for the stock market debut, but The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said final pricing would be November 6 and the stock would debut the following day.

Twitter said it expects net proceeds of between $1.25 billion and $1.44 billion depending on the option, and would use the money "for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures."

Last week, the one-to-many messaging service said it would list on the New York Stock Exchange, shunning the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which saw major problems in Facebook's market debut in 2012.

The shares will trade under the symbol "TWTR."

The latest documents did not update information of the number of users or finances.

Twitter's monthly active users are estimated at 232 million. The company lost $133 million in the first nine months of 2012 on revenues of $422 million.

The IPO is expected to be the most hotly anticipated since Facebook's in May 2012, and one of the biggest in social media.

Twitter announced separately it had hired former NBC executive Vivian Schiller to head its news operations, as the messaging service ramps up efforts in the field ahead of its stock market debut.

Schiller has been the chief digital officer for NBC News since 2011, and has some 25 years experience in the media business. She is expected to be a key liaison between Twitter and the news industry.

The appointment highlights the growing role of Twitter and other social media in the news industry.

Many journalists use the messaging platform to keep up with events, and also to get a wider audience for their own coverage.

A recent survey by Oriella PR Network showed some 60 percent of journalists surveyed in 14 countries use Twitter in their work, and 51 percent used some type of "microblogs," including Twitter and Facebook to gather new stories.

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