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Facebook 'set to go for IPO next week': final valuation $100 billion ?

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 27, 2012 | 2 min read

Facebook could file papers for an initial public offering as early as next Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports today, although the exact timing is still under discussion.

Facebook: all go next week?

The social network is thought to be seeking $10 billion initially. The overall valuation of the company would then be between $75 billion and $100 billion, the paper said quoting "a person familiar with the matter." In November Bloomberg gave a figure as high as $100 billion.

Morgan Stanley was said to be the strong frontrunner for lead underwriter on Facebook's IPO documents to be filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The IPO is being seen as "a defining moment" for the latest Web investing boom, said the WSJ. The social network has more than 800 million members, and "has changed the way people interact with each other and share information on the Internet," said the Journal.

Morgan Stanley led more U.S. and world-wide Internet IPOs than any other Wall Street firm in 2011.

The largest global Internet IPO was a $2.8 billion sale by World Online International NV, a European Internet service provider in 2000. The largest U.S. Internet IPO was the $1.9 billion sale in 2004 by Google,which valued the search giant at $23 billion.

No-one from Facebook or Morgan Stanley is commenting.

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