Facebook to file $5 billion IPO Wednesday: IFR

Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:29pm EST
 
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By Anthony Hughes and Stephen Lacey

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook is expected to submit paperwork to regulators on Wednesday morning for a $5 billion initial public offering and has selected Morgan Stanley and four other bookrunners to handle the mega-IPO, sources close to the deal told IFR.

The company founded by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 picked Morgan Stanley to take the coveted "lead left" role in what is expected to be the largest IPO ever to emerge from Silicon Valley.

The $5 billion is a preliminary target and could be ramped up in coming months in response to investor demand, IFR added.

The other four bookrunners chosen were Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and JP Morgan, although the underwriting syndicate could be expanded later, IFR cited the sources as saying.

Facebook declined to comment on the report by IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters. "Lead left" refers to where the top underwriter's name will appear on the IPO prospectus.

The preliminary IPO filing sets the stage for a May market of the world's largest social network, IFR reported, a coming-out party that will dwarf almost any before that, including Google Inc's $2 billion IPO.

IPO VETERAN CLINCHES DEAL

Morgan Stanley's experience in arranging major Internet IPOs - including those of Groupon and Zynga - helped it clinch a pivotal role after an unusually secretive selection process, IFR reported.   Continued...

 
<p>Sixteen year old Danieli Riva looks at her facebook page at a public internet service in Juan Pablo II shanty town in Villa El Salvador,Lima January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo</p>