Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - Page 10 News List

NASDAQ beats out NYSE for Facebook listing, source says

Reuters, SAN FRANCISCO

Facebook Inc, preparing what would be Silicon Valley’s largest initial public offering (IPO), has picked NASDAQ over the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for its listing in a major victory for the technology-laden US bourse, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

One of the most coveted stock listings in recent years, Facebook’s choice of its future exchange translates into a relatively small sum in annual listing fees. However, it bestows major bragging rights on NASDAQ OMX Group Inc, already home to the likes of Apple Inc and Google Inc.

A spokesman for Facebook declined to comment. NASDAQ OMX and the NYSE Euronext also declined to comment.

The world’s largest social network, with more than 800 million users, is aiming to raise US$5 billion or more in an IPO expected next month.

Facebook’s impending debut has whipped up an investor and media frenzy that recalls the go-go days of the first dotcom boom. The social network that began as a dorm room project for Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg has vaulted to Silicon Valley’s top tier within eight years.

Its listing decision deals a blow to NYSE Euronext, which has waged a battle for marquee tech names in past years.

A major push by listings chief Scott Cutler, who frequently flies out for meetings in Silicon Valley, succeeded in snagging LinkedIn Corp and Pandora Media Inc last year.

Listing fees range from US$38,000 to US$500,000 a year on the NYSE and run between US$35,000 and US$99,500 a year on NASDAQ.

Last year, NYSE Euronext hosted 44 percent of technology IPOs in the US, bringing 19 listings to the market and ranking first globally in IPO proceeds raised.

So far this year, the bourse has listed about 63 percent of qualified technology IPOs, and about 60 percent of all qualified transactions.

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