In news that rocked the world of finances and Internet, Facebook recently filed papers to raise $5 billion dollars and begin selling stock around May. It is the single largest public offering among Internet companies, bypassing Google’s IPO in 2004 and Netscape Communications (remember them?) in 1995. It is estimated that Facebook will be valued anywhere between $75 billion and $100 billion dollars.
For the first time, the historically secretive company will be required to share information about its finances and operations as they continue to face competition from other social media competitors such as Google +. The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the amazing success of Facebook and the astounding wealth that could be showered upon Mark Zuckerburg and his employees as part of this new move. Zuckerburg himself owns 28.2% of the company and is estimated to gain $28 billion, with many of the Facebook employees poised to become millionaires themselves. Not too shabby for a former nerd from Harvard. Rumor has it the SEC filing also showed that Zuckerburg asked to reduce his salary to $1 a year starting in 2013.
So why even go public? Obviously Facebook has been wildly successful as a privately owned company. Turns out Facebook already has more than 500 investors, and as a result is required by the SEC to make certain financial information public. It is expected that potential investors will go completely bananas over getting their hands on Facebook stock as soon as it is available. One analyst compared it to Black Friday saying, “Facebook is the equivalent of the $199 flat-panel LCD at Wal-Mart.”
What do you think? Are you drooling over getting your hands on a piece of Facebook? Or will it not live up to the hype?