The technology industry at large has long set its sights for a May 2012 timeframe when it comes to Facebook's $5 billion initial public offering (IPO). Offerings are typically made typically three months after a firm files for its IPO, so all the rumors slating Facebook's transition to a public company for next month make sense. When it comes to behemoths like Facebook though, sometimes there are delays.
Instead of a roadshow starting on May 7, Facebook may be looking to launch it on May 14, or even as late as the very end of May, according to people familiar with the matter cited by CNBC. A later start date would likely delay initial trading till June. The problem is Memorial Day holiday, which falls on May 28. Facebook wants to avoid it at all costs, since the stock market is typically less liquid at that time, making it a bad time to be on the road or to launch trading.
One rumor previously said Facebook will go public in the third week of May: the days of 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18. A second rumor narrowed it down to just two days: May 17 or May 24, claiming the choice will come down to how smoothly the Instagram acquisition goes. A third rumor said May 17, 2012 is the likely candidate. All three warned, however, that anything can still happen.
May 17 will only be the big day if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gives the green light for Facebook's mounting paperwork. Earlier this week, Facebook amended its IPO a fourth time, adding information about the Instagram acquisition and its countersuit of Yahoo.
Last month, a rumor suggested Facebook was halting the trading of its shares on secondary markets by the beginning of April in advance of its IPO. This was closely followed by the last unofficial auction of Facebook shares, which seemed to confirm the rumor. The last Facebook valuation before the company's IPO was $102.8 billion, the highest yet.
Some two weeks ago, a separate rumor suggested Robert Greifeld's Nasdaq won the war against Duncan Niederauer's New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), meaning FB will trade on Nasdaq and not NYSE. This was also confirmed in Facebook's fourth IPO amendment.
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