Facebook to file papers for IPO as soon as Wednesday

The Facebook IPO cometh.

The social network could file papers for its initial public offering as soon as Wednesday, according to sources.

The burgeoning business is exploring a valuation between $75 and $100 billion — numbers that match a smattering of previous reports — and will likely select Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter for the IPO, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

A VentureBeat source said that the filing is imminent, but did not know the exact date.

The timing makes sense and aligns with a recent report that suggested that Facebook would like to make its stock market debut in May. In order to meet the May deadline and comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s guidelines, Facebook would need to file its papers any day now.

Exactly where Facebook will be traded is still up in the air, according to the New York Post. The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq are said to be aggressively battling for the listing. Facebook remains undecided, but it has reserved the ticker symbol “$FB” and can use it on either exchange, according to sources.

When Facebook does become a public company, it will be the biggest IPO of the year. The 800 million-member social network is anticipated to raise more than $10 billion, a feat that only three companies — AT&T, General Motors and Visa — have ever achieved.

CNBC’s Julie Boorstin tweeted that sources put the companies 2011 revenue at $3.8 billion with an operating profit around $1.5 billion.

[Image via vaguelyartistic/Flickr]


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