Facebook IPO scheduled for first Quarter of 2012

Facebook is preparing itself for an IPO that could easily top $100 billion, according to a new report.

At $100 billion, Facebook’s impending IPO would be one of the largest in history, quadrupling Google’s $23 billion IPO in 2004.

CNBC says the social networking giant is likely to go public during the first quarter of 2012, less than nine months from now. That falls in line with a May 2012 deadline when Facebook will be required to publicly report its financial information, regardless of whether it’s a private or public company.

The $100 billion valuation isn’t a surprise — there were reports last month that Facebook’s IPO could easily top $100 billion, thanks to huge consumer and investor appeal. In fact, if LinkedIn’s stellar IPO is any indication, Facebook’s valuation could hit the stratosphere the day it hits the public markets.

Goldman Sachs is in the driver’s seat to underwrite the IPO, thanks to its $450 million investment in Facebookearlier this year. Facebook and Goldman might want to hurry, though: The social network’s growth is apparently slowing down.

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