What Would it Take for Facebook to Eclipse Visa's Record IPO?

Getty Images

With Facebook now upping its initial public offering, as first reported by CNBC's Kate Kelly last night, it still remains roughly $2 billion shy of becoming the biggest U.S. IPO ever.

If priced at the high end of its current range of $34-$38, Facebook would raise $16 billion, which is less than Visa's record $17.9 billion back in March 2008.

It would also be behind the second largest U.S. IPO, ENEL SpA's, which rose $16.5 billion back in November 1999.

At the $16 billion mark, Facebook would become the 7th largest IPO to list globally, pushing General Motors' November 2010 IPO back to 8th place.

But what would it take for Facebook to eclipse Visa's IPO? Hypothetically, it would have to modestly increase its price by nearly 12 percent or raise the offering's share count by almost 11 percent.

For instance, assuming it stuck to its current plan of offering 421 million shares, Facebook would have to price higher than $42.43, over $4 more than the high end of its current range. Alternatively, if the company still planned to price at $38 (the high end of the expected range), Facebook would have to offer a total of 466 million shares, 45 million more than it currently plans.

Whether Facebook can or will raise either the price or share offering yet again (or a combination thereof) remains to be seen. Investors will get a more solid picture of where Facebook's IPO fits in the record books after it officially prices on Thursday night.

World's Largest IPOs

  1. ABC Bank (Hong Kong/China) $19.2b
  2. ICBC Bank (Hong Kong/China) $19.1b
  3. NTT Mobile (Japan) $18.1b
  4. Visa (U.S.) $17.9b
  5. AIA (Hong Kong) $17.8b
  6. ENEL SpA (U.S.) $16.5b
  7. General Motors (U.S.) $15.8b
  8. Nippon Tel (Japan) $15.3b
  9. Deutsche Telekom (U.S.) $13.0b
  10. Bank of China (Hong Kong/China) $11.2b

Source: Renaissance Capital