Facebook going public in Q1, 2012?
Facebook, the social-networking site that is one of the most closely-watched private companies in the world, is likely to go public by the first quarter of 2012, say people familiar with the matter, at a valuation that could be pegged at north of $100 billion.
The company’s IPO, were it to happen by next spring, would probably be triggered by a section of the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act known as “the 500 rule,” these people say. Essentially, the rule mandates that once a private company has more than 500 investors, it must begin releasing quarterly financial information to the Securities and Exchange Commission, just as public companies do.
Facebook, which has indicated that it expects to cross the 500-investor threshold this year, would probably want to launch a formal IPO in advance of a public-company reporting obligation that would kick in next April, say people familiar with the matter, making a first-quarter offering a likelihood.
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