Social networking giant Facebook was expected to file documents for its long-awaited initial public offering on Wednesday morning, according to a report by International Financing Review (IFR).
IFR said that the 7-year-old company would seek to raise $5 billion. Facebook has chosen Morgan Stanley as the leading bookrunner, occupying the highly-desirable “lead left” slot on the IPO prospectus for the offering.
Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and JP Morgan would also participate on the deal. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had reportedly battled over that status for Facebook’s IPO.
The “lead left” bank leads the IPO underwriting process, its name in the upper-left-hand corner of the actual prospectus and typically receives higher fees than the other banks in the syndicate.
Previous reports suggested that Morgan Stanley won out because Facebook was displeased with Goldman’s botched, $1.5 billion private placement in the company shares last January, in which the bank ran afoul of SEC rules and was forced to close the offering off to U.S. investors.
At $5 billion, Facebook’s IPO would raise less than had been expected, reports had indicated the company might seek as much as $10 billion. A more conservative raise isn’t such a bad idea, given that several recent Internet IPOs have underperformed. Both discount sales website Groupon and web-radio service Pandora saw their stock prices fall after going public.
Facebook officials declined to comment on the report.