The company hasn’t officially decided when it will file for an IPO.
Facebook executives including co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg have made clear that the company is preparing its plans to go public. In a recent interview with TV host Charlie Rose, Zuckerberg said that the company would be making its equity “worth something publicly and liquidly” as a reward to its employees and investors. In May, Sandberg said that an IPO was “inevitable.”
Right now, the record figure for a technology IPO belongs to Infineon Technologies AG, which raised $5.23 billion in 1999. Visa holds the record for the largest IPO in U.S. history, having raised $19.6 billion with its market debut in 2008. A report from the Wall Street Journal notes that two other U.S. companies have debuted with more than $10 billion: General Motors, which had an $18 billion valuation in 2010, and AT&T, which raised $10.6 billion in 2000.
As ZDNet’s Larry Dignan points out, a $100 billion valuation at Facebook would make it more valuable than several big-name companies. He noted that Disney has a market cap valuation of $61 billion, Amazon is worth $88.3 billion, and Cisco is valued at $96.8 billion.
Google’s market cap is $190 billion; Apple’s is $349 billion.
A report from the Journal indicates that the company will file to go public between April and June. Facebook has been drafting a prospectus and speaking with Silicon Valley bankers about raising funds, according to the report.
The company expects to disclose its finances to the Securities and Exchange Commission this spring, as is required of any company with more than 499 investors. Analysts have predicted that Facebook would go public before that spring deadline.
The enormous IPO figure has already raised some eyebrows from those who question whether the company is worth $100 billion and those who wonder if Facebook can continue to innovate while under more investor scrutiny.
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