It is inevitable. It is their destiny. The social network giant could file papers as early as next week. At the moment, analysts and stock brokers predict Facebook’s valuation to be between $75 billion to $100 billion. The lead underwriter for its IPO will be Morgan Stanley. As early as Wednesday of next week, Facebook could file the documents with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). However, executives are also considering filing later to get a more complete valuation.
In any case, once Facebook goes IPO, their goal will be to raise $10 billion, said people familiar with the matter. The final valuation will be determined by a variety of factors, people familiar with the matter cautioned, such as investor demand for social media, the IPO market and the health of the European economy. A $10 billion offering ranks Facebook fourth behind Visa Inc., General Motors Co. and AT&T Wireless. At a $100 billion valuation, Facebook would be worth about the same as McDonald’s Corp. and nearly half of Google Inc.
The site was started by Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 out of his Harvard University dorm room grew quickly to take the social network crown from Friendster and Myspace in less than four years. Overall, Facebook now counts 800 million users, with 500 million users logging into the site daily.