Following the tradition of big tech companies like Google and Apple, Facebook has reportedly chosen to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol FB. The report comes from The New York Times, which cites Facebook insiders with knowledge of the matter.
Even though the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) successfully wooed new social technology companies like Pandora and LinkedIn for their IPOs, Facebook will reportedly be traded on the rival exchange.
Facebook is expected to have the largest IPO since 2004, when Google debuted on Wall Street. The company hopes to raise anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion to achieve a $100 billion valuation, which would make it one of the biggest IPOs of all-time.
Facebook has reportedly chosen Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase, among other banks, to be the underwriters for the IPO; after some subtle jockeying, Morgan Stanley won the fight to become Facebook's lead underwriter, followed by JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs claimed the third underwriter spot. The banks stand to make $40 million from their deals with Facebook, and they could make even more if other tech companies like Twitter decide to include them in their own future IPOs.
[Facebook] wants to be taken seriously and viewed as a blue-chip company, said one bank official close to the situation. The banker could not give his name because he is not authorized to make public statements.
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Underwriters hope to establish a fairly high offering, despite the risk factors associated with the world's largest social network. In its SEC filing, Facebook outlined 35 risk factors that could materially and adversely affect the company; the list reveals some troubling facts, including Facebook's lack of sustainability and its dependency on others to operate.
Facebook's shares break down like this: COO Sheryl Sandberg owns 1.9 million shares (0.1 percent of the company), seed investor Peter Thiel owns 44.7 million shares (2.5 percent), co-founder Dustin Moskovitz owns 133.8 million shares (7.6 percent), and Zuckerberg the biggest stakeholder in his company with 533.8 million shares (28.4 percent). Despite a $28 billion stake in the social network he created out of his Harvard dorm room, Zuckerberg only earns $1 in salary from his company.
The company's S-1 paperwork, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Feb. 1, is embedded below.