Glam Media, the women's lifestyle online publishing and advertising company, is close to selecting bankers to lead an initial stock offering slated for 2012, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are in the running to lead Glam Media's IPO, the people said, following a selection process that involved presentations from roughly a dozen firms.
While no final decision has been made on the exact timing of Glam's IPO, people close to the situation say the company is aiming to file a prospectus in the second quarter of 2012, with a potential offering slated for the third or fourth quarter of the year.
Glam Media declined to comment.
Glam's plans to float shares to the public come as several of its online peer companies have made similar moves.
On Tuesday, Jive Software made its Wall Street debut with shares jumping 25 percent on their first day of trading. Social game company Zynga is expected to price its IPO on Thursday.
Facebook, the world's No.1 Internet social networking company, is preparing for an IPO in 2012, a source familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.
Glam, which was launched in 2005, was the 10th most visited online property in the U.S. in October, according to comScore, with roughly 85 million unique visitors.
Glam was valued at $950 million when it acquired social networking service Ning for $150 million earlier this year, sources said.
The company, which works with more than 1,000 brand advertisers including Nike and Lexus, competes with Yahoo Inc and Google Inc in the online advertising market.
Glam is moving towards an IPO as it nears the 500 shareholder threshold, a rule which would require the company to file public reports of its financial performance by 2013, according to the sources.
Glam's moves to select IPO underwriters were first reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday.
The bake-off process in which banks pitch their services to handle Glam's IPO wrapped up a few weeks ago and Glam is currently deciding which firms will lead the offering. Bank of America, Citi and Credit Suisse are also in the running to have a role in the offering, according to the sources.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, editing by Bernard Orr)