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Online gamer preps for IPO

Zynga plans to sell 100 million shares

Online gamer Zynga plans to sell 100 million shares, about 10% of its stock, in an initial public offering later this month — although volatile markets put a brake on cash the company expects to raise and its valuation.

Zynga, created in 2007, made its name with games played through Facebook like “FarmVille,” “Castleville,” “Mafia Wars” and “Zynga Poker.” In a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it plans to sell the new shares for $8.50 to $10 each.

At the top of the range, the deal would raise $1 billion and value the company at about $7 billion — a hefty figure but well under the $10 billion or more that had been rumored in recent weeks.

Zynga opted for a more cautious stance given rocky markets and after shares of high-profile companies Pandora and Groupon, which went public earlier this year, fell below their IPO prices.

In an unusual setup, it will have three classes of common stock, A, B and C. Class A holders will have the right to one vote per share; Class B holders to seven votes per share; and Class C common stockholders to a whopping 70 votes per share.