Facebook deals may add week to IPO timing: source

Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:08pm EDT
 

By Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A recent acquisition spurt by Facebook Inc may add about a week to the social network's journey to public markets, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

Facebook recently agreed to buy photo-sharing start-up Instagram for about $1 billion and on Monday the company said it would pay $550 million for hundreds of patents from Microsoft Corp.

The deals came weeks before Facebook was expected to enter the final stages of what will likely be the largest Silicon Valley initial public offering ever. The company has been aiming for an IPO sometime in May, with a roadshow typically taking about two weeks before the stock market debut.

Facebook's recent acquisitions will likely add about a week to the timetable because the company will have to discuss the impact of these events with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the source said.

The deals are likely not material, which means Facebook will probably not have to answer SEC questions through a new regulatory filing, which would have taken more time, the source added. The person did not want to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the IPO.

A spokesman for Facebook declined to comment.

An SEC spokeswoman declined to comment. The SEC's Corporation Finance division is currently reviewing Facebook's IPO filing and the regulator must declare the document effective before Facebook may begin selling shares.

Facebook management was aiming to launch a roadshow as early as May 7 and the start of trading late the week of May 14. But now Facebook is more likely to start the roadshow May 14, or even at the end of that month, CNBC reported earlier on Tuesday.

That would likely delay Facebook's stock market debut until early or mid-June. That is because the Memorial Day holiday, which is May 28, will likely mean that the stock market is less liquid and less hospitable to a new issue like Facebook, CNBC said.

(Reporting By Alistair Barr; editing by Gunna Dickson)

 
The Facebook logo is shown at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith