This just in: According to multiple sources close to the company, Facebook is eying IPO on May 17th — depending on whether the SEC agrees that all the reams of paperwork (including those concerning its recent acquisition of Instagram) are in order.
This is in line with earlier reports that the company was going to hit NASDAQ during the third week of May. And also in line with what a single source told CNBC at length, that the social network was considering either the 17th or the 24th to go public.
According to our sources, Facebook will be valued at around $100 billion, reflecting current levels of trading in the secondary markets (and avoiding SEC scrutiny). Other reports say that the company wants to raise $10 billion at a $100 billion valuation, but like Kara Swisher we are hearing that it will be less.
“Investors want as high a price as possible so that the secondary market won’t look like a problem,” said one of our sources. With 2.51 billion fully-diluted shares outstanding, the valuation desired would price the company at around $40 a share.
We’re also hearing that the Millennial Media IPO was pushed up to early April because Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which were underwriting both offerings, wanted to “make room” for Facebook. Mobile strategy issues and issues around privacy are of the most concern for institutional investors, and some of the former were ameliorated by the Instagram buy.
This biggest issue with these set date plans is that lot of stuff can happen in four weeks, including the collapse of the European economy, another oil crisis or the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.