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Facebook value hits $100bn, to go public in Q1 2012

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Facebook's valuation grew even larger yesterday, after a CNBC report suggested that share-watchers on Wall Street expected to see the company's planned IPO pop the $100bn mark.

CNBC reckoned the dominant social network could take Facebook public in the first quarter of 2012, with an S-1 filing that might land as soon as October 2011.

That's hardly surprising given that Facebook went on record earlier this year to say that it would seek an initial public offering (IPO) no later than the end of April next year.

Meanwhile CNBC, whose reporter has been hanging out in Silicon Valley, claimed the company's valuation was on track to be "north of a shocking $100bn".

The entire deal hinges on the fact that Facebook expects to pass the magic 500 private shareholder threshold that requires a US company to go public, by the end of this year.

Under the so-called "500 investor rule", the social network would be forced to start filing financial reports with the US Securities Exchange Commission. Facebook may get in ahead of that requirement by making its public intentions known in the autumn.

As for the valuation spurts, Facebook was said to be worth $23bn in June 2010, nearly as much as UK retail monster Tesco at $50bn in January this year, and was then plumped up to a $60bn golden goose in February.

Slapping at least another $40bn on Zuck's empire is ludicrous, surely? ®

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