Facebook expected to go public in early 2012

Written by Paul Goodhead

June 14, 2011 // 11:18 a.m.

Tags: #cash #company #facebook #investment #investors #ipo #money #offering #public #shares #valuation #wall-street

It’s looking increasingly likely that Facebook will become a public limited company in the first quarter of next year, creating what promises to be one of the biggest IPOs (initial public offers) of all time.

CNBC reports that the move is likely to be prompted by a portion of the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act, which states that any private company with more than 500 investors must start releasing quarterly financial information.

Facebook is expected to hit the magic 500 investor mark towards the end of this year, meaning it would be compelled to start releasing financial information from April 2012.

However, the company is likely to want to push through its formal IPO before any public-company reporting rules kick in, which makes a Q1 2012 flotation look extremely likely.

According to CNBC, Facebook is also reportedly under pressure from its employees to float as soon as possible, as many have shares in the company that they're currently unable to monetise.

Any talk of a Facebook flotation is always accompanied by a number of ridiculous valuations, but the current figure being bandied around - a cool $100 billion - seems rich, even for the biggest social networking site in the world. In January this year, Goldman Sachs valued the company at $50 billion.

Are you intrigued by what value the market will finally put on Facebook? Are these ridiculous valuations a sign that we’re seeing a repetition of the .com bubble? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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