Facebook Stares at $10 Billion IPO in 2012

Paul Lilly

There's no question Facebook will fetch a ton of cash if it's thrust upon the stock market, you can be as sure about that as anything else in this world. But can it fetch $10 billion? According to at least one report, that's how much Mark Zuckerberg and company hope to raise when Facebook goes public next year. If an initial public offering (IPO) brings in that kind of cash, it will ultimately value Facebook at more than $100 billion.

A report in The Wall Street Journal suggests the world's largest social networking outfit has its sights set on an April to June 2012 time frame for an IPO, information WSJ retrieved from people who are supposed to be familiar with the matter. Facebook, meanwhile, prefers to keep mum.

"We're not going to participate in speculation about an IPO," Facebook spokesman Larry Yu told WSJ.

Taking social sites public is the hot thing to do right now, but there's also a disturbing trend. Groupon, for example, raised up to $805 million during its IPO, but has fallen sharply in price by 42 percent this past week, WSJ says. LinkedIn's stock better than doubled after just a single day of trading on May 19, but has dropped 36 percent since then.

Regardless of the risks to investors, if Facebook goes forward and is able to raise $10 billion, it will be the largest IPO ever for a technology or Internet company.

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