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$50bn-valued Facebook goes public about going public

IPO-incoming. Just not yet, OK

Website security in corporate America

Facebook finally confirmed on Friday that it had indeed raised $1.5bn courtesy of brokerage Goldman Sachs and Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies.

Reports that the Mark Zuckerberg-run social networking website had been valued at $50bn – that’s almost as much as dominant UK retail monster Tesco ($54bn) – surfaced earlier this month.

But Facebook has only just decided to officially acknowledge what world+dog has known for the past few weeks.

It said that it raised $1bn from wealthy overseas Goldman Sachs’ clients. Additionally, the firm confirmed that Goldman and DST had pumped $500m into the $50bn valued site in December.

“Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing,” said Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman.

“With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead.”

The company said that under the terms of the deal with Goldman, aka the Vampire Squid, it had the option to accept between $375m and $1.5bn from the brokerage’s non-US offering.

“While the offering was oversubscribed, Facebook made a business decision to limit the offering to $1bn,” it said.

The website added that it had no immediate plans to use the funds, instead it will sit on them and continue investing to build and expand its operations.

Here’s perhaps the most important bit of the announcement, that’s seemingly circled with a big fat IPO:

“Even before the investment from Goldman Sachs, Facebook had expected to pass 500 shareholders at some point in 2011, and therefore expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.”

It's been reported that Facebook pulled in $1.2bn in revenue over the first nine months of 2010, and net income reached $355m. ®

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