Facebook could file papers for an initial public offering, or, IPO, as early as Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The social network is close to picking Morgan Stanley as its lead underwriter. A person familiar with the proceedings told The Wall Street Journal that Facebook is looking at a valuation of $75-$100 billion.
Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., has more than 800 million members, and is expected to raise as much as $10 billion through its IPO. Facebook potential Wednesday IPO has been widely anticipated, and has been seen as the next step for the social network giant, and could kick off the next Internet investing boom, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Companies have been clamoring to become Facebook's underwriter and take the coveted lead left position. By underwriting Facebook's potential Wednesday IPO, the investment banks are not only guaranteeing themselves millions of dollars in revenue, but also bragging rights. Morgan Stanley has experience underwriting and leading IPO's for Internet companies. It led more than any other investment firms last year.
The largest global technology IPO on record was a $5.9 billion offer in 2000 by Infineon Technologies AG, the former semiconductor unit of Siemens AG, according to The Wall Street Journal. The largest global Internet IPO was a $2.8 billion sale by World Online International NV, a European Internet service provider, also in 2000. The largest U.S. Internet IPO, the $1.9 billion sale in 2004 by Google Inc. which valued Google at $23 billion, ranks No. 3 among global Internet IPOs, The Wall Street Journal wrote.