Today, Facebook announced that it raised a total of $1.5 billion in its latest round, giving the company a valuation of $50 billion. But it also disclosed something else: when it will likely go public.
Buried at the bottom of its press release, it sets a date for when it expects to start filing public financial reports:
Even before the investment from Goldman Sachs, Facebook had expected to pass 500 shareholders at some point in 2011, and therefore expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.
While Facebook could decide to report financial publicly without actually going public, once it goes through the trouble of financial reporting and the increased scrutiny that brings, there will be little remaining reasons to remain private. So the clock is now ticking. Expect a Facebook IPO by April, 2012.
With increasing SEC concerns about private trading of Facebook stock on places like SecondMarket and pooled funds like Goldman’s which are engineered to skirt SEC disclosure rules, putting a timetable on when financial disclosures will be forthcoming is probably a good idea.
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