20 November 2011 - 5:45pm | posted by | 0 comments

Facebook IPO 'early next year' says big investor Reid Hoffman

Mark ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg will go ahead with a Facebook float in the first half of next year in what could be the biggest consumer technology public offering in history.

The prediction comes from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and a big investor in Facebook.

Talking to The Sunday Telegraph, Hoffman, who has stakes in other big web companies said, “I suspect that Mark will choose to go public because the company has to put in a lot of financial work in order to make the necessary filings and so he might as well make sure he benefits employees and ultimately the company from the level of work that’s already involved."

Going public would benefit Facebook in lots of ways, says Hoffman, for example having public currency to do acquisitions."

"Given that logic - I would suspect that some time in first half of next year, Mark will engage in the IPO process.”

The Telegraph points that Facebook is under pressure from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to reveal how many private shareholders it has on the secondary marke, The limit for a private company is 500.

It has until the end of April next year to make the necessary filings for an IPO. When it does float , some analysts are predicting a valuation of $100 billion .

Hoffman added, “It could be the largest ever consumer technology IPO,” he said. “Facebook has deferred for a long time. The pattern 10 years ago was to float as soon as you could. The pattern now is to build a lot of inertia in your business and Facebook has done that. This will lead to a high tension IPO with a robust valuation.”

Facebook declined to comment.

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