Facebook's Growing List of Investors Will Encourage Company to File for IPO

The leading social-network company could become public in early 2012 at a valuation of $100 billion or more, insiders tell CNBC.

Facebook could go public during the first quarter next year at a valuation of $100 billion, a decision the social-networking company might make based on its growing list of investors, CNBC reported Monday citing people familiar with the matter.

Facbook is approaching 500 investors. Once it passes that threshold it would have to reorrt quarterly financial data  in order to comply with rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission, so company management figures it might as well become publicy traded at that point, according to CNBC.

Last month, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said a Facebook IPO was "inevitable," though the company didn't respond for a request for comment from either CNBC or The Hollwyood Reporter.

CNBC also reported that an IPO would be a more efficient way to reward employees than to to give them hefty raises. Selling publicly traded shares that value Facebook at an estimated $100 billion, or more, would, in fact, create some very wealthy employees.