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Facebook is Going Public

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Halah Touryalai, Forbes Staff

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is set to get a little richer sometime between April and June 2012.

Image via CrunchBase

According to The Wall Street Journal the Facebook founder is ready to take his social media company public in the second quarter of 2012. Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ says Facebook is talking to the Securities and Exchange Commission about the timing of its filing for the IPO, and is considering filing dates as early as this year.

 

 

Further, the IPO could raise $10 billion which could value Facebook at more than $100 billion, these people told the WSJ. Though the amount of money Facebook tries to raise will depend on market conditions and the state of the European economy.

No word yet on which banks would take the lead on the offering.

There’s already been plenty said about Facebook’s imminent IPO in early 2012. Last week ZDNet reported that Facebook could make its S1 filings as soon as next month citing employees at the social media company.

Much of the fervor around the company’s IPO came when investment banking giant Goldman Sachs made a $450 million investment back in January which then valued the company somewhere around $50 billion.

Around that same time regulators began asking questions about social media companies’ sale of  shares on private exchanges. In Facebook’s case, the SEC was wondering just how many shareholders Facebook actually had (outside of its own employees). Private companies with more than 500 outside shareholders are required to disclose certain financial information. Some speculate that passing that 500 mark and thus disclosing certain financial information may convince billionaire Zuckerberg to take Facebook public

In September, the Financial Times is reported that Zuckerberg was delaying the IPO date until the end of 2012. People familiar with the company told the FT that Zuckerberg “wants to wait until next September or later in order to keep employees focused on product developments rather than a pay-out.”

It’s hasn’t been an easy ride in the IPO market particularly for social media companies. Groupon, which went public earlier this month is down 41% and LinkedIn is down 36% since going public in May.

 

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