Facebook Inc., the largest social- networking site, is aiming to file for its initial public offering as early as next week,the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.The company is discussing a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion,according to the report, which would be one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history.
Facebook had been discussing raising $10 billion in a share sale that would value it at as much as $100 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said in November. That would make it twice as valuable as it was in January 2011, when the company announced a $1.5 billion investment from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other backers.
The social-networking company is expected to pick Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter for the IPO, the Journal said. The Wall Street bank has been the most popular choice among internet IPOs in recent years.
Shareholders of Facebook faced a three-day suspension of trading on secondary markets through today, people with knowledge of the matter said this week. While buy and sell orders could be made, transactions wouldn’t be processed by Facebook’s attorneys at Fenwick & West LLC.
Co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 in a Harvard University dorm room, Facebook has amassed more than 800 million users with an easy-to-use website that lets anyone with an Internet connection construct profile pages, post video and photos and interact with friends. The company has nudged aside competitors such as MySpace Inc. and generates sales from advertisers as varied as AT&T Inc., Best Buy Co. and Sony Corp.