According to a Wall Street Journal report, the world’s largest social network – Facebook – headed by Mark Zuckerberg with more than 800 million users, is preparing to issue its first public stock offering in the second quarter of 2012. The Facebook IPO could be a $10 billion offering based on a $100 billion valuation of the Palo Alto-based company.
Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and major investor in Facebook, said in an interview to Sunday Telegraph that he expects the company to be listed on the stock exchange in the first half of 2012.
As a private company, Facebook is limited to having just 500 shareholders. The U.S. regulator – the Securities and Exchange Commission – has put them under pressure to disclose how many people have a stake in the company. They have to make a declaration by 30th April, 2012 and that would be the perfect time to go public…!
As per Wall Street Journal, Facebook‘s Chief Financial Officer (C.E.O), David Ebersman, had discussed a public float with Silicon Valley bankers but founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had not decided on any terms and his plans could change.
Facebook does not disclose its financial results, but according to various unconfirmed sources, the company’s revenue in the first six months of 2011 doubled year-on-year to $1.6 billion. Eric Feng, a former partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who now runs social networking site Erly.com, said that the cash Facebook will get in an IPO would allow them to make more acquisitions and refine or work on new projects, such as a rumored Facebook phone or a netbook.
If Facebook goes ahead with its plan of floating on stock exchange, it will be the biggest consumer technology public offering in history. Facebook has not commented so far on the speculation.