Facebook IPO Seen As Inevitable For 2012

Facebook might launch an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2012, at a market valuation of more than $100 billion.

Citing people familiar with the matter, CNBC reports that the company will probably be forced to go public in the first quarter of 2012 due to a section of the Securities and Exchange Act.

By law, any privately held company which has more than 500 investors is required to submit financial reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission just like any other public company. Facebook had previously indicated that it will have more than 500 investors by the end of this year, which means that a 2012 IPO is quite likely.

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had indicated at a conference held last month that an IPO will be the next big step for the company.

In January this year, a group of investors led by Goldman Sachs had invested $1.5 billion in Facebook, valuing the company at $50 billion. Recently private share deals have valued the company as high as $85 billion.

Recent market valuations have put the company's total value at around $100 billion, which means that when Facebook finally does go public it will no doubt have a successful IPO.