(Reuters) – Facebook is expected to submit paperwork to regulators on Wednesday morning for a $5 billion initial public offering and has selected Morgan Stanley and four other bookrunners to handle the mega-IPO, sources close to the deal told IFR.
The company founded by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 picked Morgan Stanley to take the coveted “lead left” role in what is expected to be the largest IPO ever to emerge from Silicon Valley.
The other four bookrunners are Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and JP Morgan, although the underwriting syndicate could be expanded later, IFR cited the sources as saying.
Facebook declined to comment. “Lead left” refers to where the top underwriter’s name will appear on the IPO prospectus.
Morgan Stanley’s experience in arranging major Internet IPOs – including those of Groupon and Zynga – helped it clinch a pivotal role after an unusually secretive selection process, IFR reported.
Final pricing would not be set for several months, during which the size of the IPO could be increased should investor demand warrant it, IFR added.
The prospective IPO – expected to be one of the largest U.S. market debuts in history – has whipped up a frenzy of investor and media speculation this month, buoying shares in social media peers from RenRen to LinkedIn and igniting fierce competition on Wall Street.
The IPO – a prized trophy for any investment bank – likely set a new standard for how low its arrangers are willing to go on advisory fees to win big business, analysts say.
(Reporting by Anthony Hughes and Stephen Lacey)