Facebook is anticipated to have one of the of the most electrifying IPOs in technology company history. The company is hoping to have a valuation of over $100 billion when they go public and would raise as much as $10 billion or more. Facebook is believed to be targeting their IPO at between April and June 2012.
To put a $100 billion valuation into perspective, Facebook would be bigger than HP, 3M, Yahoo!, Ford, and GM. Facebook would be about as valuable as Cisco Systems.
Facebook is planning their IPO at an interesting time. The stock prices for Internet companies that recently went public have been extremely volatile. Facebook rival LinkedIn went public this past May and their stock price then went as high as about $95.45. Today LinkedIn’s stock price closed at $60 and they have been trading at between $60 and $102.44 since then.
Sources with the Wall Street Journal said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warmed up to the idea of having an IPO by between April and June 2012, but no final decisions have been made. Generally companies explore IPOs when they hit $100 million in revenue and Facebook is expected to debut with $4 billion in revenues.
Facebook CFO David Ebersmann has been leading the IPO talks with Silicon Valley bankers. Starting this April, Facebook would be required to make their financial information public because the company will cross the 500-shareholder limit by the end of the year. The SEC requires companies with over 500 shareholders to publicly disclose financial data. Facebook could still publish their financial information without an IPO.
Facebook’s IPO of $10 billion would be the largest for any Internet technology company. Google’s IPO in 2004 was a $1.9 billion sale, which gave them a value of $23 billion, which made them rank #3 in global Internet IPOs.