Facebook Gunning for May 17 IPO?

By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 20, 2012 09:05 AM EDT

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Several reports indicate that Facebook's much-anticipated initial public offering will hit the market on May 17, but the date still depends on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) signing off on the company's S-1 paperwork.

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On Wednesday, April 18, TechCrunch cited multiple sources close to the company, who reportedly said Facebook is targeting May 17 for its IPO, but for this to be possible the SEC must first agree that all paperwork, including that for Facebook's recent acquisition of Instagram, is in order.

Earlier reports have also indicated that Facebook will hold its IPO during the third week of May. CNBC had also previously cited a single source saying that the social networking giant was looking at either May 17 or May 24 to go public.

According to TechCrunch's sources, Facebook will be valued at roughly $100 billion. Meanwhile, other reports claim that the social networking company wants to raise $10 billion at a $100 billion valuation. TechCrunch said that based on what it heard, it will likely be less. "Investors want as high a price as possible so that the secondary market won't look like a problem," one of the sources told TechCrunch.

Facebook's much-anticipated initial public offering is expected to be one of the largest tech offerings ever. Upon filing an S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission back in February, the company officially declared its intention to raise as much as $5 billion through the IPO. The last huge tech IPO was Google's $1.9 billion public offering, which now seems so little compared to Facebook's.

Facebook's recent acquisition of photo-sharing startup Instagram adds even more spice to the whole IPO equation. In less than 18 months on the market, Instagram has attracted more than 33 million users. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly planned the rather controversial acquisition of Instagram with little help from others. In fact, he even surprised the company's board members with this bold move, slated to be Facebook's largest acquisition ever. Now, Facebook bankers are reportedly looking to include the great benefits of this acquisition into their talking points about the IPO, CNet reported.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)


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