The long-awaited Facebook IPO looks like it will come as early as the first quarter of 2012, CNBC’s Kate Kelley reports, citing sources.Facebook could file its S-1 to the SEC in October.
Goldman is in the “pole position” to underwrite the IPO, says Kelly.
Sheryl Sandberg is meeting individually with banks, she says.
Sandberg wants to know if banks’ retail divisions can create new products for Facebook users, or if the banks have good relationships in China.
Facebook will not have an auction IPO like Google’s.
Kelly expects a small public float.
Kelly says her sources tell her the IPO valuation could be around $100 billion.
It would shock us if the number were actually that low. It’s more likely that Kelly’s sources are trying to keep expectations as low as possible.
Facebook is currently worth about $80 billion on secondary markets. It’s set to turn in revenues surpassing $4 billion this year, we’ve been told by sources in the past. Sources project 2011 EBITDA around $2 billion.
Facebook doesn’t need to raise cash, so the main point of an IPO would be to give employees currently stuck with restricted stock units some liquidity.
A bigger short term concern for Facebook might be that it’s actually losing users in some of its more mature markets.
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