Why is Wozniak Going Gaga Over Facebook?

Steve Wozniak says he will buy Facebook stock when the social network launches its initial public offering, irrespective of the price of the shares. “I would invest in Facebook,” the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder told Bloomberg TV in Sydney. “I don’t care what the opening price is.”

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Facebook is selling 337.4 million shares to the public, priced between $28 and $35, while hoping to raise $11.8 billion through the offering scheduled for May 17. That will make it the biggest IPO for an Internet company. The price also gives Facebook a market value of about $96 billion. Facebook had first announced plans for an IPO last January after expecting to go over the regulatory threshold on the number of shareholders. However, the then 500-shareholder limit was raised to 2,000 in March 22.

Wozniak co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976, but is now the chief scientist at Fusion-io (NYSE:FIO), which makes flash-memory technology. Business with Facebook brings in 36 percent of Fusion-io’s revenue. Apple and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are also big customers, with a 24 percent and 14 percent share in its revenue, respectively.

Some analysts have predicted that Fusion-io may soon become a target for acquisition, though Wozniak said he wasn’t sure if he looked forward to that. “Once you have an IPO like Fusion-io did, oh my gosh you’ve now got to look at targets that you can add to your base,” he said. “You’ve also got to worry about who might acquire you. And is that good or bad? It’s sort of a sell-out in my mind.”

Fusion-io shares closed at $21.41 on Friday and have risen 13 percent since the company’s IPO in June. They reached a peak of $40.34 in November.

Wozniak also said he thought Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had a perfect blend of business acumen and technical ability. “I was thankful to have a partnership with Steve Jobs and I see Mark Zuckerberg closer to the combination of us,” he said.

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