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Zynga files for IPO of up to $1-billion Add to ...

Zynga Inc. filed paperwork for an initial public offering Friday, the latest in a series of hot social media companies to seek capital in the U.S. public markets.

The company, which is behind a series of popular games on Facebook, said it hoped to raise up to $1-billion (U.S). It did not specify the number of shares it plans to sell or give an expected price range.

A source previously told Reuters that Zynga’s IPO could raise $1.5-billion to $2-billion and could value the company at $15-billion to $20-billion. Underwriting is being led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

Online video game revenue is expected to reach $18-billion by the end of 2011 and $26.9-billion by 2015, according to DFC Intelligence, a market research firm on interactive entertainment.

In the three months ended March 31, Zynga’s common stockholders broke even on revenue of $235.4-million. The company, whose games include FarmVille and Mafia Wars, is the top games publisher on Facebook. Its main source of revenue is selling virtual items such as tractors and weapons in games that users play on their computers.

Zynga has expanded rapidly through small acquisitions at the rate of about one a month in the last year, as it seeks to dominate the games market and expand internationally.

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