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.