The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook’s IPO will drop between April and June of 2012. The company could potentially raise $10 billion with a valuation north of $100 billion, depending on market conditions.
The IPO time frame shouldn’t surprise anybody, though. I reported back in January that Facebook’s IPO would most likely drop in May 2012. The reason is simple: SEC rules will require Facebook to reveal its financial information to the public in May 2012. If you have to report earnings, you might as well IPO and raise $10 billion in the process.
Just like Zynga, Facebook is going to have a retention problem once it IPOs. A lot of employees are vesting, and they are going to be very tempted to jump ship and do their own thing. Or buy a beach house in Hawaii and lay around in the sun for a couple of years.
I think, in a perfect world, Zuckerberg wouldn’t IPO. He’d rather have full control of the company while keeping its finances secret. But proposed changes to SEC regulations that would give him that option won’t be implemented by then.
Besides, there’s a lot you can do with $10 billion. I suggest a giant slingshot that fires water balloons at Google’s campus in Mountain View. I’m pretty sure Facebook employees would be in favor of such an awesome weapon of war.