Facebook Shares Reportedly Halt Trading For Three Days

A three-day halt in trades of Facebook shares reportedly begins tomorrow. Some see this as the first sign of a forthcoming registration to go public.

A three-day halt in trades of Facebook shares begins tomorrow, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

The law firm that processes trades in Facebook shares initiated on private secondary markets, Fenwick & West LLC, won’t handle transactions this Wednesday through Friday.

People can still initiate buy and sell orders for the social network’s stock, however.

We asked for comment from Fenwick & West and Facebook, but spokespeople for both declined to comment on Bloomberg’s story; we also reached out to SecondMarket and SharesPost, where shares of the social network trade, and who also declined to comment.

The sole source who spoke on the record, Sam Hamadeh, chief executive officer of PrivCo, told me on the phone that the three reporters at Bloomberg learned of the trade halt from six different sources who’d requested anonymity.

Hamadeh said that the three-day halt is the first sign he’s seen of a possible initial public offer registration by Facebook.

Up until news of the three-day halt had broken, Hamadeh didn’t believe Facebook was really going to file an IPO.

While this latest development is by no means conclusive evidence that an IPO filing is coming, Hamadeh says it’s a start.

He said that Facebook might make an announcement at the end of the day Friday, but it’s as likely to be an IPO filing as “Mark Zuckerberg having cancer.” Or the attorneys might simply have three days of vacation planned for this week.

Meanwhile, we just received an email from SharesPost saying that the last auction of Facebook shares closed on Friday at a price of $34 per share. That gives the social network an implied value of $79.9 billion, assuming the number of outstanding shares still amounts to 2.35 billion.

Since the company fairly recently reduced the number of outstanding shares from 2.5 billion to 2.35 billion, it’s very possible that a further reduction has occurred, so let’s factor that in.

Either way, the current $79.9 billion implied valuation is higher than the $75.2 billion result of the last SharesPost auction.

Let us know in the comments section what you think about all of these financial developments. Below is a copy of the SharesPost email about the latest auction.

We are writing SharesPost members like you who indicated they would like to occasionally receive news from SharesPost.

SharesPost Financial Corporation completed its auction of 70,000 shares of the Class B Common Stock of Facebook, Inc. on January 20, 2012. A clearing price of $34.00 per share was established at the auction.

Members submitting qualifying bids at or above the clearing price will be contacted shortly with instructions on next steps for completing this transaction. Successful auction bidders will hold an indirect interest in the shares of Facebook, Inc. through their ownership of units of an investment vehicle designated to hold the shares. The administrator of the investment vehicle, SP Investments Management, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SharesPost, Inc.

SharesPost members who wish to be informed of and be eligible to participate in future auctions of private company securities must first be qualified by our affiliated broker-dealer as an accredited investor under the U.S. securities laws and regulations by SharesPost Financial Corporation, Member FINRA and SIPC. To get qualified, please click on the green button below. We look forward to serving you at SharesPost in the future.

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