Facebook is going to release its financials in April, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Of course, this isn’t exactly a revelation: the company has to do that anyway, because of existing SEC regulations. So far, we’ve heard that the social media giant is looking to raise $10 bn at a $100 bn valuation. Many questions, however, remain.
1. The lead underwriters: so far, it seems as though Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are in the lead, which is hardly a surprise. What we don’t know is who else may join the party. Will Facebook go with a large group of bankers, as Groupon did? Who else will be involved?
2. The exchange: NYSE or NASDAQ? We don’t know yet, and there’s little doubt that both exchanges are doing everything they can to win this listing. If Facebook chooses NYSE, we’ll see fierce competition among designated market makers.
3. The impact: Facebook’s IPO matters to more than just Facebook. There are 260 companies in the US IPO pipeline right now, and more are likely to file, given the prevailing trend, despite difficult market conditions. Speculation is rampant as to whether a Facebook IPO will reignite the IPO market (my guess is that it won’t).