Facebook IPO Talk Getting Closer, Sort Of

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Facebook has remained an elusive IPO so far.  The company has maintained that this IPO would not likely be in 2011, but CNBC’s Kate Kelly has just reported that Facebook executives have had discussions with investment banking firms to discuss underwriting, terms, valuations, and more.

If the IPO comes, then our prediction is that Facebook will come public in 2011.  Our argument in our TOP 17 IPOs TO WATCH IN 2011 is that Facebook may not have much of a choice. It already has shares that trade on private-public exchanges, making it basically a public company.

CNBC did not indicate that Facebook’s S-1 filing was imminent.  One key-note to consider here is that Facebook was interested in other ideas of what it can do with the underwriters other than just securing underwriters to bring the company public.

This is just one more step along the way to an IPO.  Facebook really might as well come public today.  The valuation is already through the roof, arguably at $50 billion to $80 billion depending upon whom you ask.

Does this sound a bit like a fishing expedition aimed at getting a super-high valuation even higher?  If we had to bet, it seems to be the case that Mark Zuckerberg just wants to hold out for $100 billion.  Zuckerberg just needs to understand that if the valuation gets too high at the pricing that Humpty Dumpty can still fall off the wall, even if Humpty puts on a Facebook mask.

JON C. OGG