Facebook: The world’s third-biggest population readies an IPO

Globe and Mail Update

Published Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2012 7:45AM EST

Investors await Facebook
Forget about manufacturing stats and the corporate earnings on tap. Today’s big event is expected to be the kickoff of Facebook’s eagerly-awaited initial public offering.

As Simon Avery writes in today’s Report on Business, the social media giant is expected to file regulatory documents today that would set the stage for the biggest Internet-related stock offering ever.

“Fifteen years ago, AOL was the Internet to most people, five years ago it was Google, now Facebook is the Internet,” Lise Buyer, a former Google executive, told The New York Times. “Facebook’s IPO will prove that there is an enormous amount of money to be made in the social media space.”

Reports suggest Facebook will opt for a small debut of, say, $5-billion (U.S.) to $10-billion, but that would value Mark Zuckerberg production at up to $100-billion.

Facebook’s growth is staggering. After just seven years, having famously started in Mr. Zuckerberg’s dorm at Harvard, it has 800 million users, which is expected to grow to 1 billion, effectively closing in on the populations of China and India. Last year’s revenue was estimated to top $4-billion.

  • Facebook expected to file IPO papers
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