Reid Hoffman, Facebook stake-holder and co-founder of professional networking site LinkedIn recently spoke to the Sunday Telegraph, suggesting that Facebook supremo, Mark Zuckerberg, is likely to float the company on the stock market during the first-half of next year.
He offered up the following reasoning behind his statement: "I suspect that Mark [Zuckerberg] will choose to go public because the company has to put in a lot of financial work in order to make the necessary filings and so he might as well make sure he benefits employees and ultimately the company from the level of work that's already involved."
Mr Hoffman went on to say that "going public" would benefit Facebook in many ways, in particular, having public currency available for future acquisitions, "Mark might as well get the benefit as well as the cost."
We suspect, however, that a more likely reason for Facebook floating would be recent pressure from the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC) to disclose the number of the firm's private shareholders on the secondary market, which for the US has a limit of 500. Facebook has been offered until the end of April next year to make the necessary filings, else begin the process of floating through IPO (Initial Public Offering).
Should Facebook float, analysts are predicting an initial valuation of £64 billion ($100 billion), which would see Facebook become the largest public consumer technology offering, ever.