Facebook underwriters to get 1.1 percent fee: source

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:19pm EDT
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By Alistair Barr and Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook will pay a fee of just 1.1 percent to underwriters of its initial public offering, a source with knowledge of the company's plans said on Monday.

News that the payout would be much slimmer than the typical underwriting fee came as Facebook executives highlighted the engagement of its massive user base during a meeting on Monday with about 100 analysts, investment bankers and others involved in the IPO.

Sources had said the company's underwriters would swallow a fee much lower than the 3 percent to 7 percent that is typical on Wall Street, because of the prestige of being associated with Silicon Valley's largest ever IPO, as well as the promise of being bankers in future to the world's largest social network.

Facebook's underwriters include Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Barclays and Allen & Co. Earlier this month, the company also named an additional 25 banks as underwriters.

Analysts and investment bankers from many of these firms attended a meeting with Facebook executives at the company's headquarters which lasted about three-and-a-half hours on Monday, according to two sources who attended.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg did not attend, but most of the company's other top management made presentations at the meeting, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman, head of product Chris Cox and vice president of engineering Mike Schroepfer, according to the people in attendance.

Facebook declined to comment.

One of the attendees described the meeting as a useful opportunity for Wall Street analysts and bankers to meet various executives at Facebook, but said there was little new information shared about Facebook's business or operations.   Continued...

Facebook Vice President of Product Chris Cox delivers a keynote address at Facebook's "fMC" global event for marketers in New York City February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar