Facebook to File for IPO Feb. 1: WSJ Report

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-01-27 Print this article Print

If this event, which had been projected (apparently incorrectly) by several financial analysts to happen later this spring, does indeed take place, it will easily be the largest IT IPO in history.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the situation, reported Jan. 27 that Facebook will file for its long-awaited initial public offering of stock on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

If this event, which had been projected by several financial analysts to happen later this spring, does indeed take place, it will easily be the largest IT IPO in history. The sale is expected to bank somewhere in the vicinity of $10 billion for the social network and value the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company at a whopping $100 billion.

In contrast, Google's Aug. 19, 2004 IPO on the NASDAQ exchange garnered $1.7 billion at $85 per each of 19 million shares for the search engine and Web services company. Google now is valued at $140 billion. Google was trading at $576.38 on Jan. 27, up $8 on the day.

The largest tech IPO on record is that of Germany-based Infineon, which raised $5.9 billion in 2000.

Facebook recently was valuated at about $50 billion, following a $1.5 billion investment from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies announced Jan. 22.

Details on the Facebook news are few and far between. Facebook itself isn't commenting. But the Journal has a solid record on stories of this nature.

Morgan Stanley will manage the Facebook offering, the Journal said, adding that Goldman Sachs will be "intimately involved."

Facebook suspended trading in secondary markets for three days earlier this week, which apparently was an indication that an IPO is indeed forthcoming.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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