Status Update: Facebook Checks In At SEC For $5B IPO

| About: Facebook (FB)

Facebook, the company that encourages us to share more and more about ourselves, has finally opened its books for investors. The social media king registered with the SEC on Wednesday for a $5 billion US IPO, and the numbers are staggering. After just eight years, its monthly active user base has surpassed 800 million, and 2011 sales were $3.7 billion. Even after a string of large Internet IPOs from Renren (NYSE:RENN), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), the Facebook offering stands far apart. As was rumored, Morgan Stanley took the coveted lead left spot on the IPO. Also chosen as lead underwriters were J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, which invested $450 million early last year. The ticker was announced as FB, and market rumors have it listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ceaseless hype and top tier brand recognition suggest that Facebook will see plenty of demand from institutions and individual investors alike. Last year's Goldman Sachs deal offers some insight: DealBook reported that the $1.5 billion offering, before being closed to US investors, was heavily oversubscribed. That deal was priced at an implied $50 billion valuation. Since then, Facebook has been trading on private exchanges at valuations as high as $80 billion, in line with a rumored $75 to $100 billion valuation for the IPO, which would make it the most highly valued US IPO in history.

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