Facebook starting IPO roadshow next week (rumor)

Facebook may start its initial public offering (IPO) roadshow as soon as next week. The company is widely expected to go public this month, although some have suggested there could be a delay.

Despite rumors of delays, others say Facebook is still on track to go public this month. It's important to underline that nobody yet knows the plan as it mainly depends on two things: when exactly the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gives the green light for Facebook's mounting stack of paperwork, and what exactly Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg feels like doing with his company.

The social networking giant could get approval from government regulators to officially distribute its S-1 public offering prospectus to investors this week. The company's road show could thus begin as early as next week, according to sources close to the situation cited by AllThingsD.

Zuckerberg will reportedly be appearing before potential shareholders, and will be present at key meetings to help sell the company to them. Some may find this surprising given his recent behavior (Zuckerberg skips Facebook analyst meeting (rumor) and Wall Street whines as Zuckerberg skips out on Facebook investors) but as I have said before, of course "Zuckerberg will likely play some sort of role in selling the company's shares to investors."

Zuckerberg is simply too important to Facebook's business to not participate in his company's public offering. Facebook CFO David Ebersman and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will also play key roles in the road show, as will many other Facebook executives.

Following the road show, there will be a sales process in which investors ask management questions. Facebook's bankers will price the offering, anywhere between $75 billion, $100 billion, or maybe even higher. Lastly it will go public on the Nasdaq market under the "FB" ticker. Only then will you be able to officially buy Facebook stock.

So when will this happen? 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, and as I've already noted, a fourth one >said everything has been pushed back to June.

See also: