Facebook Will Go Public or Disclose Financials by April 2012
Facebook Inc. will begin disclosing financial information or stage an initial public offering by April 2012, according to a new 100-page private-placement memo now being distributed to potential investors in the company.
[Read an earlier, related story by BoomTown's Kara Swisher: Even If It Had 500 Shareholders Today, Facebook Doesn’t Have to Disclose Financials Until Spring of 2012]
The popular social-networking company said in the document that it intends to breach a critical 500-shareholder limit this year. Crossing the limit triggers a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that requires that companies file financial information—even if their shares don’t trade publicly.
Facebook’s intentions have been under heavy debate since the company launched a private share offering through Goldman Sachs Group Inc. this week. Some investors have wondered whether the arrangement with Goldman was designed to avoid such disclosures. The document makes clear that isn’t the case, and that Facebook will likely be a publicly traded company in 2012.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.