Deals

Facebook said to be filing $5B IPO, Morgan Stanley selected to take lead

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Social network king Facebook will likely file its first papers with regulators on Wednesday morning for a $5 billion initial public offering, “sources close to the deal” have told Reuters subsidiary IFR.

We heard at the end of last week that the social network could file papers for its initial public offering as soon as Wednesday, so it’s not unexpected that more details are leaking like a well-worn faucet. The timing aligns with a recent report that suggested that Facebook would like to make its stock market debut in May. In order to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s guidelines, Facebook would need to file its papers soon.

If IFR’s report holds true, the $5 billion IPO would be looked at as smaller than expected. Rumors had been swirling that Facebook would be putting up a $10 billion offering on a $100 billion valuation. IFR suggests that if Facebook sees higher demand (which it most certainly will), it could raise its offering to a higher amount.

Facebook has selected five bookrunners to help get its offering processing, and it has put Morgan Stanley in the lead-left role. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, and JP Morgan will also help with the deal. The bank in the lead-left role typically earns a larger share of fees collected for handling an IPO.

It’s unclear at this point if Facebook will end up on The New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, but both are said to be aggressively battling for the listing. Facebook has reserved the ticker symbol “$FB”.