Is Facebook About to IPO Out of Nowhere?

LinkedIn and Zynga were decently large tech IPOs this year. But Mark Zuckerberg's multi-billion social networking empire going public would make those headlines microscopic.

An inside source cited in a recent Business Insider article suggests that Facebook is on the brink of an IPO—"possibly as soon as next month."

"The IPO talk inside Facebook has ramped up the past 6 weeks and Zuck repeatedly has said that it is 'coming,' which he *never* said in the history of Facebook."

The truth is that Facebook is going to go public, and relatively soon. Because it's surpassed the SEC's 500 shareholder limit, the company has to disclose its financials in April. That doesn't mean it has to IPO, but we understand the company plans to bite the bullet and go for it around then anyway.

Facebook employees with stock options are in for a massive windfall if the company goes public. In 2007, Facebook was valued at roughly $15 billion. In 2009, this valuation hadn't changed much—a Russian billionaire's investment placed the company at $10 billion. But in 2011, Goldman Sachs skyrocketed the valuation to $50 billion with an investment. Since then, the valuation speculation has seen numbers ranging from $80 billion to $100 billion (although, not unlike most recent tech IPOs, many critics argue these valuations are hyperinflated).

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