Facebook’s IPO Not Until Late 2012?

This week the Financial Times reported that Facebook’s will not have its initial public offering until late 2012. The FT cited sources close to the company in the report for the scoop, but all that was obtained from Larry Yu, Facebook’s spokesperson, was: “As is our typical practice, we just don’t get into speculation about an IPO.”

Although there are apparently some 200 companies sitting on their IPO start time because of the uncertain market, it seems that what’s prompting the delay is CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to keep his team “focus[ed] on developing products” instead of on “collecting an IPO payout.”

Financial watchers expect there to be a “frenzy” like the one last seen when Google went public in 2004.The private markets are currently giving Facebook a valuation that hovers at $80 billion and investors are ready to buy Facebook shares, clearly. Even without any help from the public markets, Facebook was able to come up with $1 billion.

This January Facebook’s number of shareholders went beyond 500, which is a threshold set by the Securities and Exchange Commission: once that number is passed, companies must open up financial results within a short, specified timeframe. Previous calculations had set Facebook’s IPO date for April 2012. Seems investors will have to wait a bit longer.

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