Is Facebook Ready to File for an IPO?

Company could go public next week

facebook mark zuckerberg
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote during the Facebook f8 Developer Conference in San Francisco.
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Looks like Mark Zuckerberg may be getting ready to adjust some privacy settings of his own. The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook could file for an initial public offering  as early as this coming Wednesday. Facebook's IPO has become one of the most highly anticipated events in both Silicon Valley and Wall Street after early calculations valued the social network somewhere between $75 and $100 billion, just as much as McDonald's but less than half as much as Google.

Facebook going public is the latest and the most loaded episode in the current Internet investing boom, signaling exactly how strong investor demand is for social media.

The Palo Alto, California-based company is aiming to raise upwards of $10 billion during IPO. If it succeeds, Facebook will have the fourth largest IPO among American companies, behind Visa, General Motors and AT&T.

Anonymous sources cited Morgan Stanley as a frontrunner to underwrite the funds. The investment firm has led IPO deals for LinkedIn, Groupon and most recent Zynga. LinkedIn's IPO was the first indicator that social networks could be a hot commodity for investors, doubling share value on its first day. Since then, however, stock for both Groupon and Zynga have fared "choppier" results, according to the WSJ. Sources said that Goldman Sachs will also play a part in the coveted Facebook deal. Last year, the firm raised $1.5 billion for Facebook shares during a private offering that involved only foreign investors.

 Facebook now has over 800 million members all over the world, with well over half of them logging in every day. Last year, it reached the limit on the number of investors allowed for a private company, which means Facebook has 120 days in 2012 – ending roughly around April – to file its financial information.

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