Report: Facebook may file IPO this week

Social networking giant could file initial public offering as early as Wednesday with Morgan Stanley frontrunner to lead deal ahead of Goldman Sachs, report says.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Facebook could prepare to file for its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO) as early as this Wednesday although this is just one of the possible dates being considered by the company. Morgan Stanley is also said to be the leading candidate to manage the deal, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

It reported on Saturday that the social networking giant may file its IPO papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week although other dates several weeks later are also being bandied around, according to one unnamed source. Others familiar with the matter have stated between April and June as the likely time period for the filing instead, it noted. 

The IPO may raise as much as US$10 billion, which would place the company's value between US$75 billion and US$100 billion, the sources added. 

Morgan Stanley is also said to be the frontrunner to lead the IPO deal ahead of Goldman Sachs, which could yield the investment bank tens of millions of dollars in banker fees, potential new business and bragging rights, the report stated. Goldman Sachs is likely to still play a significant role in the deal though, one source added.

Facebook, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the matter, said WSJ.

Reports of when Facebook will file for an IPO has been rife in recent weeks. Just last week, the company halted the trading of its shares on the private secondary market, leading to speculation that it will file for an IPO soon.

Another report earlier this month said Facebook was aiming to launch its public offering in the third week of May and it would need to file its IPO papers with the SEC soon, as the agency's review process typically takes three to four months.

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