NEW YORK (AFP) - Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has deflected talk of going public for years but it looks like it is finally going to happen in 2012.
'The Facebook IPO will be the biggest financial event in the tech industry for 2012,' Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff said, and one of the biggest initial public offerings ever in the United States.
Mr Nick Einhorn, an analyst at Renaissance Capital, said he expects Facebook to file its IPO paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the first quarter and start trading on Wall Street later in the year.
With an expected deal size of US$10 billion (S$13 billion), Facebook would slip into sixth place on the list of largest US IPOs between AT&T Wireless Group (US$10.62 billion) and Kraft Foods (US$8.68 billion), according to Renaissance Capital. A market capitalization of US$100 billion would put Facebook on a par with McDonald's (US$103 billion), well ahead of Boeing (US$54 billion) but behind Apple (US$376 billion) and another Internet giant, Google (US$209 billion).