Facebook IPO could top 100 bln USD: report

09:53, June 14, 2011      

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Social networking giant Facebook will likely go public in the first quarter of 2012 with a valuation that could top 100 billion U.S. dollars, U.S. media reported on Monday.

In a report, CNBC quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Facebook could submit filing to register its securities with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as early as October or November this year.

People who are on Wall Street and track this information told the business news television channel that they think the Facebook initial public offering (IPO), if and when it happens could value the company of more than 100 billion dollars.

A factor in the company's IPO timing is the SEC's requirement that companies must disclose financial information if they have more than 500 private investors.

"The company has until the end of April 2012 to disclose their financials, but they may just want to get ahead of that by doing a formal initial public offering, I'm told. And that could happen in the first quarter of the year," said CNBC Wall Street reporter Kate Kelly.

Facebook is also facing internal pressure as employees have not been permitted to sell their private shares on the secondary market since last spring. An IPO would make it easier for employees to monetize their shares, said Kelly, citing sources.

Facebook shares have been traded in private markets such as Sharepost.com, which puts the social networking company's valuation at 85 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, latest data show that Facebook is losing users last month in the United States, Canada and several European countries, indicating that the company could have hit the limits of expansion in its mature markets.

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