Facebook expected to file for IPO today

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Facebook is widely expected to file a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the markets close on Feb. 1, the first step in going public, according to multiple reports that cite sources familiar with the matter.

California-based Facebook has not yet confirmed its intent to file for an initial public offering to any media source, and the company is silent on the matter on its website and popular blog. Once a prospectus is filed with the SEC, the company would go through a so-called “quiet period” that, in accordance with federal securities laws, limits what information can be released to the public. Facebook did not immediately respond to Direct Marketing News' request for comment.

Multiple sources are also reporting that Morgan Stanley will take the lead on the IPO. The financial institution also took the lead in arranging other major Internet IPOs, including those for Groupon and Zynga.

The Wall Street Journal first published an unconfirmed report about a pending Facebook IPO on Jan. 28. That report said that the company would seek to raise $10 billion. This speculative sum has since been revised down to $5 billion by other media, including MSNBC and Reuters.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal both estimated the IPO would put Facebook's valuation between $75 and $100 billion, but some believe that value to be overstated.

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