Facebook becoming publicly

Facebook will begin the process of becoming a publicly-listed company this week, valuing the social networking site at between $75bn (£48bn) and $100bn, reports suggest.

 NEW YORK (AFP) - Facebook may file papers for an initial public offering next week that would value the social network at up to $100 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said Facebook could file IPO papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as early as Wednesday but the "timing is still being discussed."

With a deal size of $10 billion, Facebook would slip into sixth place on the list of largest US IPOs between AT&T Wireless Group ($10.62 billion) and Kraft Foods ($8.68 billion), according to Renaissance Capital.

It would be the largest IPO ever by a US Internet company, eclipsing that of Google in 2004 which raised $1.9 billion and valued the Web search giant at $23 billion.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has deflected IPO talk for years, saying he is focused on building the company and not on going public.

But Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room nine years ago and has seen it grow to more than 800 million members, recently seemed to bow to the inevitability of selling stock to the public.

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