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Facebook reportedly suspends share trading ahead of IPO

January 25, 2012 |  1:09 pm
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Facebook Inc. has reportedly frozen the trading of its shares on secondary markets through Friday, a move that might be made in preparation for the company's expected initial public offering.

Buy and sell orders can be made, but the world's largest social network won't approve or reject any transaction Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, according to a reports from both Bloomberg News and the New York Times, which each cited unnamed sources.

Officials at Facebook were unavailable for comment on the reports Wednesday, but for months speculation has been rampant over just when the Palo Alto company would sell stock on public markets for the first time.

As we've reported before, Facebook's IPO, whenever it comes, could be as worth as much as $10 billion, which would place the social networking giant's market value at more than $100 billion.

The move to temporarily suspend trading might be taking place so Facebook can get a count on just how many shareholders it has among employees, investors and traders who picked up company stock on private secondary markets. Or the freeze may be attributable to Facebook preparing a pre-IPO prospectus of its financial information, Bloomberg said, noting that companies don't want secondary-market investors trading stock with the prospectus out before going public.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows off the Timeline view at the company's F8 developer conference in September in San Francisco. Credit: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

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