Facebook Files for IPO (Surprise)

UPDATED: Facebook filed for its much anticipated initial public offering this afternoon, and observers believe it will represent the largest Internet IPO yet seen.

Some observers estimate the company wants to raise $5 billion, but others say it’s seeking a much higher valuation than that would end up valuing the company at $100 billion. By contrast, Google’s 2004 IPO raised $1.9 billion from investors, creating a valuation of $23 billion.

If you want to see Mark Zuckerberg’s letter from the filing, it’s here.

Earlier today Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at IPO Boutique, an advisory firm, said:

Pandemonium is what I expect in terms of demand for this stock. I don’t think Wall Street would want to anger Facebook users.

Google’s IPO initially made 1,000 employees millionaires, at least on paper, and more achieved that status later. The anticipated Facebook IPO has California realtors salivating and even state budget analysts are figuring a “Facebook effect” to the economy that could top $1 billion, according to SiliconValley.com.

The Wall Street Journal has a profile of the South African-born wealth advisor expected to manage much of the windfall for the Facebook elite.  Meanwhile, All Things Digital profiles CFO David Ebersman, the man who has to make all this happen. No pressure there.

But in an attempt to quell the hype, the headline on Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri’s column says it all: “Facebook IPO cures cancer, creates world peace.”

Updated 5:16 p.m. to report on IPO

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