Facebook IPO could be biggest ever

January 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
There's some major news in Silicon Valley as Facebook is finally preparing to go public. It's a move that could generate $5 billion. It could be the biggest initial public offering ever.

If you're an employee with stock options, some say it could suddenly make you a millionaire, at least on paper. Tuesday night, company executives didn't want to talk about the IPO, but they did want to talk about the fact that they want to bring even more people onboard.

Facebook is so happy in its new home in Menlo Park, it wants to expand. Right now, 3,600 Facebook employees work on Willow Road. Tuesday night, Facebook execs asked the city of Menlo Park to consider allowing 3,000 more to move in. This comes on the night before Facebook is expected to file paperwork for a $5 billion public offering.

What Facebook is preparing to do Wednesday would mark one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history.

"It's a huge IPO," said Larry Magid, a tech analyst. "They're going to have a lot more money to work with so they'll be able to expand and hire, and do whatever it is they want to do. They're going to have a lot of capitol."

Industry insiders say Facebook could be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. The company wouldn't comment on the IPO, but did say the plan in the short term, is to develop another parcel of land nearby and create more than 9,000 jobs by 2015.

"$377 million of economic activity will occur in San Mateo County alone as a result of our move and we're responsible, good neighbors of the community. So this is really a win-win situation," said Facebook spokesperson Tucker Bounds.

"This is such a unique opportunity and we should all be welcoming Facebook with open arms. Without them being here, let's look at the alternative," said Kail Lubarsky from JobTrain.

But there are some who are concerned about what Facebook could bring to the area. They spoke at Tuesday night's special study session.

"We'll be impacted. There'll be traffic issues for all of us coming and going, noise, pollution," said Amy McGaraghan, a Menlo Park resident.

All of those issues are ones Facebook says it's willing to work on. Facebook is suggesting limiting the number of cars that go through campus, which would help with pollution and noise. The city, meantime, should make a decision on this, this coming summer.