June 28, 2011, 6:39 PM —
Photo credit: sabrina.dent/Flickr
Zynga, the maker of wildly popular Facebook games such as FarmVille and CityVille, could file for an initial public offering as early as Wednesday, CNBC reports.
With the definite exception of Facebook and the possible exception of Groupon, Zynga's public offering is the most highly anticipated of the private social media companies.
(Also see: Pandora shares melt down on Day 2)
Zynga, which claims more than 215 million monthly users of its games, is shooting to raise $1.5 billion to $2 billion with its IPO, CNBC's anonymous source said on Tuesday.
Founded in 2007 by chief executive Mark Pincus, Zynga makes money by offering players "game credits" that can be purchased via credit card or PayPal, much as players of arcade games can continue playing by dropping more quarters in the slot. Zynga players also can get game credits by purchasing services or taking surveys from Zynga partners.
The company reportedly is on track to make $630 million in profits this year on revenue of $1.8 billion. A recent $500 million fund-raising round put Zynga's value at about $10 billion, but CNBC's anonymous source -- who I'm sure has no vested interest in touting this IPO! -- says the public offering could peg Zynga's value at $15 billion to $20 billion.
Zynga reportedly hopes to raise $750 million with the share offering. Morgan Stanley reportedly will be lead underwriter.
When the company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, I'll take a look at the numbers and risk factors. Could be tomorrow.