The initial public offering of Facebook has been pushed back to next year, people familiar with the situation told the Financial Times.
There has been a lot of speculation about when Facebook would begin offering shares to the public. Industry analysts expected Facebook to launch its IPO by April 2012, as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that an IPO was eventually coming. Those close to the situation told the Financial Times that Zuckerberg wants to keep his staff focused on product development rather than a large payout.
Initial Public Offerings are a good way to raise capital that could be spent to grow the company. Recent private share sales have valued Facebook at more than 66.5 billion, according to the Financial Times. The large amount of capital already in Facebook's hands means they may have leverage to hold off.
There's really no reason to rush a deal, Lise Buyer, a consultant who worked with Google on their initial public offering, told the Financial Times. The company doesn't need the money. It is a little easier to focus when you're private. They'll go when they're ready, not before.
The downside with delaying the IPO is that employees with the company would be able to make significant amounts of money if the debut were successful, which could help keep talent at the seven-year old company.
This news comes as the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that 63 percent of IPO's in 2011 (including companies such as Pandora Media) are underwater, meaning that their current share price is lower than its initial price.
Earlier this summer, it appeared as a huge swath of IPOs from the tech industry were going to hit the market. But companies, such as Groupon and Zynga, have pulled back on their plans, causing some to believe the IPO bubble has burst.
Until volatility settles down, it's going to be a while before the IPO market comes back in a meaningful way. I think the IPO market will be very selective, at best, and we're advising most clients to wait at least until the Federal Reserve meeting Sept. 20-21, Brian Reilly, head of U.S. equity capital markets at Barclays PLC, told the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook is not commenting on the matter at this time.