Facebook Eyes $100 Billion Value in IPO by Mid-2012

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook's F8 Conference - H - 2011
Bloomberg/Getty Images

The social network, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, could raise $10 billion in what would be one of the largest such offerings ever.

NEW YORK - Facebook is targeting April to June 2012 for an initial public offering that it hopes will value the company at more than $100 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
It said that the social network is looking at raising $10 billion in the IPO, which would make it one of the largest such offerings ever. A $100 billion valuation would give the firm a value greater than twice that of such big names as Hewlett-Packard. Facebook's private market value had fallen slightly to $77 billion this fall after an extended run-up.

"We're not going to participate in speculation about an IPO," a Facebook spokesman told the Journal. The paper said though that the company could file for an IPO by the end of the year.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly expressed reluctance go public in the past kept Facebook private longer than many observers predicted he would, the Journal highlighted. It added that he has warmed to the idea of an IPO, but hasn't made a final decision.

In a sign that it continues to do things differently, Facebook has not committed to any investment banks for a possible IPO. It even has crafted its own IPO prospectus, a document typically prepared by bankers and lawyers, the Journal said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai