Facebook going public on May 17 (rumor)

Facebook is widely expected to go public next month, but the exact date is still unknown. The social networking giant will go public on May 17, 2012, according to the most specific rumor yet.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

The rumored timeframe for Facebook going public has been slated for May 2012 many times. One rumor said it will happen 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. Now, we're hearing the more likely candidate is May 17, 2012.

This latest rumor comes from multiple sources close to the company cited by TechCrunch. Don't go marking down the date on your calendar just yet. 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. Remember that in addition to the Instagram acquisition, Facebook also needs to amend its filing with details of 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 $5 billion 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.

This was at the same time that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cleared all of Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's paperwork, supposedly related to his stock options. Two weeks ago, a 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.

We won't know Facebook's actual valuation until right before the offering is made, which typically occurs about three months after a firm files for its IPO. The rumors have started for when Facebook will go public, and soon speculation about the valuation number will hit an all-time high. Will it be $100 billion?

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