Facebook IPO due in late May?

If the social-media titan plans to go public by the third week of May, it will have to file its papers with the SEC soon, All Things D notes.

Facebook is expected to launch its long-anticipated public offering in the third week of May, in line with previous reports, according to an All Things D story citing multiple unidentified sources.

If the social-media titan does plan to go public in May, it will have to file its IPO papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission soon, as that agency's review process typically takes three to four months. A proposed Facebook IPO will also likely draw a lot of scrutiny owing to the size of Facebook's user base, which numbers 800 million people but is expected to hit 1 billion by the end of the year.

Facebook executives were reportedly in internal discussions in late November over when to file IPO papers, with a target date for its shares to make their debut on the market between April and June.

Facebook representatives declined to comment on the report.

The social-media giant's IPO is expected to be one of the largest tech offerings ever. The company is reportedly considering a $10 billion offering that would value it at more than $100 billion. That valuation would make Facebook one of the most valuable tech companies. Though far behind tech leader Apple's current valuation of $390 billion, Facebook would trump Amazon's $81 billion and Hewlett-Packard's $52 billion.

Speculation about a Facebook IPO began in 2009 when the company modified its stock structure to make a public filing easier. However, not long after rumors began circulating that the company would go public last year, a Bloomberg report claimed Facebook wasn't even considering the possibility of an IPO until 2012 at the earliest.

 

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