According to the Wall Street Journal social networking service Facebook will begin its IPO on May 18, 2012 and Mark Zuckerberg is expected to go on the road to raise awareness that the company is valued at $100 billion.
The IPO itself could raise a projected $10 billion.
The company recently acquired the photo-sharing app Instagram in a $1 billion deal, largely spearheaded by CEO Mark Zuckerberg without input from his board.
According to the WSJ, he’ll be present at some stops during the road show, with COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman mostly leading the effort.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that the presentations to investors will last around nine days and take place in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore and potentially Los Angeles.
Facebook’s IPO would be the largest in internet history, over Groupon, Zynga and Google; but there are challenges ahead, and possible changes in plans, given market conditions and regulators’ actions.
There is some investor doubt: in the first quarter, the company’s profits dropped 12 percent to $205 million as expenses piled up.
Even so, most financial analysts are watching this unfold with excitement.