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FB IPO: May 17 or 24

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Facebook has homed in on two possible dates to launch its initial public offering on the Nasdaq, according to a person familiar with the matter. Bankers & management are currently looking at a primary target date of May 16 or May 17 to price the deal (with trading commencing the following day), according to this person, and trading would commence the following morning. The company would begin marketing the deal on May 7 under that scenario.

The final timing, however, will be highly dependent on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s review of Facebook’s recently announced $1 billion acquisition of Instagram. While bankers expect the commission to give the deal a go-ahead by the end of April, unforeseen comments or questions from regulators could push IPO pricing back by roughly one week.

If that were the case, the company would default to a plan B, which would aim to price the deal on May 23 or 24 and begin trading the following day.

Under either scenario, Facebook is leaning towards a 10-day period to market the deal with investors – known as a road show – which will primarily focus on domestic investors in hubs like New York, Silicon Valley, and Boston, according to this person. The company is considering meeting with prospective investors abroad in Europe, but would keep that trip brief (if it happens at all). Typically, road shows for large IPOs last around 14 days.

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