Goldman Loot Staves Off Facebook IPO

By delaying, Facebook keeps secrets, avoids regulation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2011 11:01 AM CST
In this Nov. 15, 2010 file photo shows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiling at an announcement in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

(Newser) – The $500 million Goldman Sachs and other investors just dropped on Facebook will stave off its long-awaited IPO for a good while longer, the New York Times observes. Until recently, tech companies would jump to go public as soon as possible, but Facebook has so far decided it’s not worth bothering with the ever-shifting winds of Wall Street and the strictures of government regulation—and others are following suit.

“Mark would absolutely prefer not to have an IPO until he absolutely has to,” said David Kirkpatrick, of The Facebook Effect fame. That’s not to say Facebook shares aren’t being traded—just that only the wealthy and connected have access to them. Goldman Sachs sent out an email to select clients yesterday offering to sell them shares, the latest sign that there's a bustling trade in privately held companies. "Things have changed dramatically," says one IPO adviser, but only for "the 2% of companies that stand out from the pack like Facebook."

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