Facebook will begin to publicly disclose its financial information or sell stock in an initial public offering by April 2012, according to a news report from [The Wall Street Journal].
Facebook, a privately held company, has offered the 2012 timeline in a memo it is distributing to potential investors, the Journal reported. The social-networking website will reach a 500-shareholder limit this year, after which it must begin publicly disclosing financial information under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules, the investor memo said.
Earlier this week, [news reports said Goldman Sachs] had invested US$450 million and Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies $50 million in Facebook. About the same time, the SEC opened an inquiry into private share trading at Facebook and three other tech companies, according to news reports.
A Facebook spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on a potential IPO.