Facebook deals may add a week to IPO timing: source

Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:29pm EDT
 
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By Alistair Barr and Gerry Shih

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 with knowledge of 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.

The delay adds another twist to the high-profile offering a day after the company released quarterly results showing sagging revenue and soaring operating expenses, prompting at least one analyst to lower their valuations of the company.

Prospective investors will now have to wait about a week longer to get a glimpse of Facebook's roadshow, because the company will have to discuss the impact of its recent acquisitions with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the source said.

The SEC's Corporate Finance division is currently reviewing Facebook's IPO filing and the regulator must declare the document effective before Facebook can begin selling shares.

The Instagram and patent acquisitions 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.   Continued...

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