Facebook Reportedly Sets IPO As Early As May 16

The long-awaited Facebook initial public offering could go live as early as May 16, according to reports.

Kate Kelly (pictured) reported on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” that Facebook will launch a road show to back its IPO either May 7 or 14, and the company’s “plan A” is to begin trading either May 16 or 17, a Wednesday and Thursday, with “plan B” moving that date back to pricing the stock Thursday, May 24, and beginning trading the following day.

According to Kelly, Facebook is committed to going public before Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, mindful of avoiding the holiday week, when many potential investors are on vacation.

Kelly added that the absolute latest the company can begin its road show is Monday, May 14, assuming that it will last 10 or 11 days, and not the typical two full weeks. She added that international markets may not be part of its road show schedule, saying:

I’m told that the philosophy here is a little bit of less is more: Instead of a full two weeks, they may end up going 10 or 11 days. They haven’t entirely ruled out going overseas, but there is a good chance that most, if not all, of the road show meetings will be on the domestic side — not going to London, not going to Hong Kong.

And there is a little bit of a discussion going on, maybe even some tension, with bankers over that latter point. Bankers, of course, want Facebook to spend as much time as possible on the road. After all, the speculation is that they want to sell about $10 billion worth of stock, and the bankers would like to see them meet with as many investors in as many of their hometowns face-to-face as possible to develop as much of a goodwill rapport and as much support for the book as they possibly can.

(Editor’s note: Last we heard, $5 billion in stock is supposed to come to market, not twice that amount.) Other issues that could impact the timing of the Facebook IPO are the Securities and Exchange Commission signing off on the paperwork, and whether yesterday’s announcement of the acquisition of Instagram has any impact.

Readers: Are you ready for this IPO to finally happen?

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