Facebook IPO filing seen coming as early as next week

Suspended trading adds to speculation that long-anticipated public offering is near

Facebook logos

News reports are reverberating around the Internet at the moment indicating that Facebook's filing for a long-anticipated initial public stock offering could come as early as next week.

The Wall Street Journal says:

Facebook Inc. could file papers for an initial public offering as early as next week and is close to picking Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter for its IPO, said people familiar with the matter.

Facebook could file papers for the IPO as early as this coming Wednesday, but that timing is still being discussed, said a person familiar with the matter. The company is currently looking at a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, this person said.

Prior to that Journal report being posted, speculation was already rampant regarding the Facebook IPO as a result of word that the trading of privately held Facebook shares had been halted.

From MarketWatch:

News reports of a halt in trading in privately held Facebook shares on the secondary market have reignited speculation that the social-networking giant is about to file for an initial public offering.

Trading on the secondary market was reportedly suspended until Monday, according to news reports from the New York Times and Bloomberg that cited unnamed sources.

A CNNMoney report, however, suggests not reading too much into the trading halt, as it has apparently happened before.

Whenever it finally arrives, the IPO is expected to be historic, an analyst tells the Los Angeles Times: "This will be the largest IPO of the year for sure and probably of the decade," said Max Wolff, senior analyst at GreenCrest Capital Management in New York. "There is literally a fortune in fees, which is occurring in a slow market. There's also bragging rights. These firms want to be able to go to their clients and offer them an allocation of the Facebook IPO."

Let the frenzy begin.

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