Facebook, at long last, is going to file for IPO but instead of a united shriek of rejoice, it seems that the jury is still undecided over this move. Surprising? Well, after threading through the throng of analytical articles online, one thing stands out – the opinion is clearly split between the business world and the tech world.
The MoneyWatch column on CBS News has listed out an interesting compilation of statistics of how well tech IPOs have performed over the years, and besides the gargantuan jump in Google shares (opened at $85, shot up to $580) and the positive trend which LinkedIn experienced (opened at $45, peaked at $122, settled at $94.25), it seems that the last time tech IPOs really got exciting was way back in 1999.
Wired also paints a grim picture of the tech IPO world by citing the performance of two similarly high profile IPOs – Zynga and Groupon – which sank below their IPO share price right out of the gate. Arguing that Facebook is not delivering an advertising platform that is compelling enough based on the ridiculous amount of free data that they have, Wired went as far as calling Facebook “the new Yahoo”. Ouch.
On the other side of the pond however, Businessweek poo poos both CBS’ statistics and Wired’s negative outlook on the impending IPO with the help of some Bloomberg sourced data.
Facebook would follow a crop of social-media companies that went public in 2011, the biggest year for U.S. Internet IPOs in more than a decade, according to Bloomberg data. Nineteen companies raised $6.6 billion in 2011, the most since 101 raised $11 billion in 2000, the data show.
The Associated Press seems to be in agreement too and calls the impending IPO “a hopeful sign for capital markets following a deep recession”, and at a rumored valuation of US$100 million, calls it “the biggest (IPO) for a U.S. Internet company ever — topping the debut of one of its main rivals, Google Inc”.
Who has it right and who has it wrong? We can’t tell you that, but what we do know for sure is that a little closer to home, someone is ready to cash in on the big money.
Business Times reports that Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the owner of Berjaya Group, will be looking at pulling in close to US$500 million from the IPO. Having acquired Friendster in 2008 and selling its patents to Facebook in 2010 for 700000 shares as part of the deal, Tan now owns a whopping 3.5 million shares, which will definitely put a smile on his face.
So, what do you think about Facebook’s IPO? Yay or nay? And what does it mean to regular investors like you and I? Well, we’ll leave you with this short blog post from The Wall Street Journal, and sit back to see how the saga unfolds. One thing we don’t want to see however, is another dot-com bubble bursting.