Updated: June 13, 2011 11:09PM
Facebook is likely to go public in the first part of 2012, business cable network CNBC reported Monday, citing unnamed sources.
CNBC said the offering is likely in part because of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s requirement that companies with more than 500 private investors must disclose financial information — much like a publicly traded company. Facebook is likely to reach that threshold of 500 by the end of the year, CNBC reported. Facebook employees are now prevented from selling their shares on private secondary markets, so they could pressure the company to go public sooner rather than later so they can realize the value of their options.
Facebook’s earnings are expected to exceed $2 billion this fiscal year.
Skeptics of the latest IPO valuations say they are producing another bubble similar to that of the late 1990s. Professional networking service LinkedIn Corp. is valued at $7 billion after its IPO last month, while Chicago’s daily-deal site Groupon aims to raise up to $750 million in its public offering.