Facebook Launching IPO Today

Filing 'an American milestone'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 1, 2012 4:19 AM CST | Updated Feb 1, 2012 7:52 AM CST

(Newser) – The company Mark Zuckerberg founded in his dorm room eight years ago is expected to file for Silicon Valley's biggest-ever initial public offering today. The Facebook IPO will aim to raise $5 billion, and will value the company at between $75 billion and $100 billion, insiders tell Reuters. The filing paves the way for the stock to start trading in May, and many observers expect a twist, possibly involving a way in for Facebook's 800 million users. "Pandemonium is what I expect in terms of demand for this stock," an IPO expert tells AP. "I don't think Wall Street would want to anger Facebook users."

The IPO, the most talked-about since Google's in 2004, is "an American milestone,” former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers tells the New York Times. "Most important companies, like Ford in its day or IBM in its, are those that open up whole new capabilities and permit whole new connections. Facebook is such a company." The deal is also a milestone for Wall Street. Analysts believe that in order to get a piece of the action, banks, including lead underwriter Morgan Stanley, dropped their fees to just 1% of the proceeds instead of the usual 3% charged in big deals.

The deal will put Facebook's finances under more scrutiny than ever before.
The deal will put Facebook's finances under more scrutiny than ever before.   (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)
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There's no other IPO like this. It's kind of the 800-pound gorilla for the tech sector. - Lee Simmons, a tech specialist
at Dun & Bradstreet

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