Market Overview

Investors Missed Their Chance to Invest in Facebook?


If you haven't already invested in Facebook, it might be too late.

Not for the IPO, which is still forthcoming, but for the secondary markets that have allowed investors to buy a piece of Facebook before the company's initial public offering.

According to Bloomberg, representatives of Facebook have “instructed firms that help investors buy and sell stock in closely held companies to cease trading of its equity this week.”

Facebook, which first filed for its IPO in February (with the aim of raising $5 billion, no less), is perhaps the most popular company you'll find on SharesPost and SecondMarket. Both sites allow investors to buy and sell stock in companies that aren't publicly traded. It's a growing concept that has propelled the popularity of investing in hot startups without having to be there for a particular round of funding.

But since the companies traded on SharesPost and SecondMarket are not technically public, there are limitations. Most significantly, Facebook had to limit the number of people who bought into the company or else the SEC would declare it a public entity before the IPO.

By putting an end to the secondary sale of Facebook stock, Bloomberg said that the company will then have enough time to account for its shareholding base and stop any price fluctuations.

“It wouldn't surprise me if they wanted to let the market settle down before they head out on a roadshow,” Lise Buyer, principal at Class V Group, told Bloomberg. In 2004, Buyer helped advise Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) before the dot-com giant made its public debut.

While Bloomberg reports that Facebook's value has declined (it dropped roughly 5% in late February, going from $98 billion to $93 billion), the social networking leader is still expected to provide one of the most exciting IPO debuts in years.

Will it soar to the top overnight, a la LinkedIn (NASDAQ: LNKD)? Or will its debut prove to be a bit more challenging, a la Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA)? Stay tuned to Benzinga to find out.

Follow me @LouisBedigian

Posted-In: Facebook LinkedIn SecondMarket SharesPostNews Rumors IPOs Tech Best of Benzinga


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