Goldman Leads Race to Manage Facebooks Float Early Next Year

anthony (Finance) (7918 Points)

15 June 2011  

Facebook is preparing to file for an initial public offering (IPO) as early as October or November that could value the popular social networking site at more than $100 billion, according to media reports. Goldman Sachs is leading the chase to manage the lucrative offering, which could come in the first quarter of 2012, according to media reports. With more than 500 million users, Facebook is the worlds most popular internet social network and one of the most hotly-anticipated initial public offerings on Wall Street. Facebook, whose chief operating officer last month told Reuters that an IPO was inevitable, declined to comment on the latest report about its timing for an offering. Anticipation about a Facebooks future plans comes at a time of heightened investor appetite for shares of social networking companies. Professional networking site LinkedIn Corp launched its IPO last month, valuing the company at about $7 billion. Earlier this month, daily deals site Groupon filed to raise up to $750 million, fueling speculation that internet valuations have become too rich. Founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 by the now 27-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook threatens internet companies like Google and Yahoo as it becomes a popular online destination for web surfers and an important marketing channel for advertisers. Facebook was valued at $50 billion earlier this year when Goldman Sachs invested in the company. Recent transactions of Facebook shares on the secondary market have valued the company between $78 billion and $81 billion, according to information on the website of Sharespost, an exchange for trading shares in private companies. Facebook may generate roughly $4 billion in advertising revenue in 2011, up from $1. 86 billion a year earlier, according to market research firm eMarketer. -