Facebook plans to file documents as early as Wednesday for a highly anticipated IPO that will value the world's largest social network at between $75 billion and $100 billion, the Wall Street Journal cited unidentified sources as saying on Friday.
Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is a strong front-runner to be the lead underwriter on what would be one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history; the Journal cited its sources as saying. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is expected to play a significant role in the deal too, the newspaper added.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.
The impending IPO - expected to raise $10 billion - is a prized trophy for investment banks, setting up a fierce competition on Wall Street, particularly between the presumed front-runners Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Shares of Internet and social-networking companies rose after the news, with LinkedIn Corp (LNKD.N) closing 5.9 percent higher at $76.64 and Zynga Inc (ZNGA.O) gaining 5.6 percent to $10.05.
GSV Capital (GSVC.O), an investment firm that owns Facebook shares, jumped 17.8 percent to $17.79.