Facebook going public on May 17/24, based on Instagram (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 either May 17 or May 24, according to a new rumor.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

The rumored timeframe for Facebook going public has been slated for May 2012 many times. One rumor has gone as specific as saying it will happen in the third week of May: the days of 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18. Now, CNBC is betting on just two days: May 17, 2012, or May 24, 2012, claiming the day will come down to the Instagram acquisition.

The publication revealed the dates via Twitter, citing an unnamed source:

Facebook eyeing IPO dates of either May 17 or May 24. Deal time fluid & dependent on SEC review of @Instagram acquisition – source Facebook considering shorter 10-day IPO road show to launch deal. Some bankers concerned shorter road show may harm deal marketing. –source Facebook expecting SEC guidance on @Instagram deal by end of April. –source

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. Last week, 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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