Speculation that Facebook is planning an initial public offering (IPO) is rife after the social networking site suspended trading shares on the private secondary market.
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Facebook has given no reason for the share-trading suspension, but rumours suggest Facebook is planning an IPO in the second half of May, according to The Guardian.
That timetable would require Facebook to file documents for review by the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), within the next month.
It is common practice for businesses to suspend trading ahead of a filing for an IPO to prevent anyone from buying or selling shares until all the information about the company is fully public.
"Facebook and companies who do this don't want to expose themselves to lawsuits related to the fact that some people had it before others and were able to trade on it," Sam Hamadeh, chief executive of analyst firm PrivCo, told Bloomberg.
The social networking firm’s shares recently traded at $34 a share on SharesPost, which values Facebook at $80bn.