He’s not taking off the hoodie, and he’s not going to NYC. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Facebook will IPO on Friday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg ringing the NASDAQ bell remotely from his company’s new Menlo Park headquarters. This follows the trend of companies like Zynga who also rung the IPO bell from home base rather than New York. CNBC tweeted the news this morning and we’ve verified this with another source close to the IPO proceedings.
Some investors worry about Facebook’s ability to earn revenue on mobile as more users migrate away from its classic web interface. But now Bloomberg reports that Facebook will cease taking orders for shares tomorrow and that the IPO will be massively oversubscribed, despite citing underwhelming demand from investors a few days ago. Wall Street pros aside, national fervor over the popular social network’s entrance into the public market has amateur investors pleading with their brokers to get them stock.
Some believed that a late start to the pre-IPO roadshow, adverse market conditions, and a potential FTC probe into Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram could delay the IPO. But it now looks like things are right on schedule. Facebook filed documents this morning to show it would be listed on the NASDAQ with the symbol ‘FB’.
Pricing will likely be confirmed on Thursday, though a recent amendment to its S-1 indicated a price range of $28 to $35, giving it a value of $77 billion to $96 billion. That’s a bit shy of the rosy $100 billion reporters, and presumably early share holders, were hoping for.
[Update: However, now CNBC reports and we have independently confirmed with a reliable source that Facebook will increase the price range to $34 to $38, giving it a valuation of $92 billion to $103 billion. The price increase is likely to take advantage of strong demand for the stock. Another amendment to Facebook S-1 document to be filed in the next few days will officially confirm the price increase.
Update 2: I’ve confirmed with sources that Facebook is very likely to sell up to an additional 50.6 million shares as part of an over-allotment option called a “greenshoe”
If you don’t have the budget to make a serious investment you could always buy a single share and get a commemorative stock certificate.
One thing to remember: there isn’t a physical “NASDAQ bell”. It’s just a term borrowed from older stock exchanges like the NYSE that actually used a metal bell to alert those on the floor that trading had begun. Zuckerberg will press a buzzer and sign a screen to symbolically open NASDAQ trading for the day. The ceremony will be broadcast over satellite and on nasdaq.com.
The IPO will come as a huge reward for Facebook’s employees, especially early ones who’ve put their blood, sweat, and tears into growing the company, but haven’t had the liquidity to improve their lifestyles. Zuckerberg himself was known to dwell in a very modest apartment a short walk from Facebook’s old headquarters on California Avenue in Palo Alto until he recently upgraded. Many expect housing prices to shoot up in the area surrounding Facebook’s Menlo Park campus as well as nearby San Francisco, or are already seeing it happen.
Zuckerberg is expected to give a speech or at least some opening remarks from the bell ringing ceremony at his 1 Hacker Way HQ. However, the event will likely be for employees only, so if you want hear him speak in person, you better put in a job application or try to get acquired quick.