The inevitable has happened, Facebook has filed for an initial public offering (IPO). It wasn't much of a secret that the company was going to do it on the first day of February. In fact, nothing about the IPO has been much of a secret for a long time.
The company is looking to raise $5 billion, €3.81 billion in the IPO, but that sum could grow to $10 billion, €7.62 billion.
What's more, Facebook is going to be valued at something between $75 billion, €57.17 billion and $100 billion, €76.2 billion, though there's no official confirmation on that. There are still some figures that have been left blank for now, to be filled later.
The company is not selling too many shares, but it doesn't have to, even with a small percentage to be made available, it's going to rake in a lot of money.
One thing is for sure, it is going to be the largest internet-related IPO in the US, topping Google which still holds the record, at $1.9 billion, €1.45 billion. Facebook may raise five times that.
Facebook's IPO is also going to be the fourth largest in the US, if it reaches $10 billion. The only companies to top that are Visa, General Motors and AT&T.
The numbers may be huge, but they are warranted, Facebook's revenue has been growing steadily and the company has been profitable for a long time now. Facebook brought in $3.7 billion, €2.82 billion, last year and made a cool $1 billion, €762 million in net income. Both sums are significantly higher than the 2010 figures.
Facebook is going to use the FB ticker, but hasn't decided between the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market. No date has been set for the IPO either, but it is going to be sometime this spring.