The Twitterverse has erupted in retweets of CNBC’s claim that Facebook is discussing an initial public offering with unnamed bankers.
We can only call this a rumor right now, as we’ve yet to receive any confirmation about a possible transaction.
But until Facebook executives have signed the paperwork and put out a press release officially announcing a transaction, a possible IPO can only be called a rumor, not a fact. After all, not much time has elapsed since executives at the social network last said they didn’t want the company to go public.
“As a practical matter, we don’t comment on IPO-related speculation,” said a spokesperson for Facebook, via email.
Presumably, the strong performance of RenRen’s market debut has shown Facebook that the capital markets have a good appetite for social media IPOs.
It’s also convenient timing now that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss appear to have come to the end of the road for possible litigation against the social network. Of course, their stock options would probably accrue more value if Facebook went public. But now any financial obligation to the twins won’t likely require disclosure in anything other than an appendix in a stock prospectus.
We can only guess that Facebook might turn to its top investor Goldman Sachs for a deal, but the social network’s popularity may have motivated other investment bankers to start calling with competing offers.
Readers, do you have any opinions about when Facebook might conduct its IPO, how many shares might go up for sale, at what price and which bank would lead the transaction?