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IPO values Zynga at $15 billion to $20 billion

FarmVille maker could file papers to go public as soon as tomorrow, according to a CNBC report, joining a frothy lineup of Net start-ups looking to cash in on lofty valuations.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene

Zynga, the online gaming company behind FarmVille and CityVille, plans to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering as early as tomorrow, CNBC is reporting.


The San Francisco company plans to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in a filing that would value the company at between $15 billion and $20 billion, according to the CNBC report.

While the Zynga filing has been expected, it would add to an already frothy lineup of Net start-ups looking to cash in on lofty valuations for tech companies. Earlier this month, daily-deals company Groupon filed papers for an initial public offering. Online music service Pandora traded shares for the first time earlier this month. And professional networking site LinkedIn began trading stock last month.

Zynga would add another hot social Web company to that list. The company has some 250 million people playing its games monthly. According to AppData, which tracks social gaming, CityVille has 88.2 million monthly users and Farmville has 38.6 million users.

That's generated solid financial results. AllThingsD has reported that Zynga earned about $400 million last year on about $850 million in sales.

CNBC reports that the IPO could come by fall. And the news site says Morgan Stanley will lead the underwriting, while Goldman Sachs, which had been rumored to be in the lead underwriter, will take a secondary spot.

Updated with details and analysis at 2:55 pm PT.