Tags: Facebook | CEO | iPO | Marketing

Facebook CEO Is Said to Take Low Profile in IPO Marketing

Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012 09:13 AM

Facebook Inc. executives Sheryl Sandberg and David Ebersman had a message for analysts at a meeting yesterday: Don’t expect a lot of face time with Mark Zuckerberg ahead of the initial public offering.

The company’s 27-year-old co-founder and chief executive officer didn’t attend the meeting, which served as a precursor to the IPO’s so-called roadshow, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. That left Sandberg, Facebook’s operating chief, and Ebersman, the chief financial officer, to answer questions from analysts and bankers.

Facebook, the world’s most popular social-networking service, filed last month for a $5 billion IPO -- the biggest offering on record for an Internet company. The deal could value Facebook at between $75 billion and $100 billion, people familiar with the situation have said.

The role Zuckerberg will play in the roadshow hasn’t been determined, said the person, who asked not be identified because the matter is private. The company, which held the event at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, will probably have another meeting with analysts next month, the person said.

The company also hasn’t decided yet whether it will offer financial guidance to analysts, according to the person. At the event, executives emphasized that the company is focused on the long term and well positioned for growth, the person said.

Jonathan Thaw, a spokesman for Facebook, declined to comment.

Underwriter Fees

Facebook will pay the IPO’s underwriters a 1.1 percent fee, which will be shared among the banks, two people with knowledge of the company’s plans said. Facebook has hired 31 banks to manage the IPO, including Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. The lead bank typically earns a bigger cut of the total.

At 1.1 percent, the company will be paying its banks one- fifth the typical rate for IPOs. Underwriters were paid an average of 5.48 percent in 127 offerings last year, Bloomberg data show. With larger IPOs, banks can often afford to take a smaller percentage fee, and high-profile offerings such as Facebook can lead to future business, making securities firms willing to accept less.

The banks Facebook named last month to handle the deal included Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Allen & Co. This month, Facebook expanded the list to include Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. Smaller banks were added as well, such as M.R. Beal & Co., Muriel Siebert & Co. and William Blair & Co.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported on Zuckerberg missing the analyst meeting. Executives at the event said he would be focused more on developing Facebook’s service, the Journal reported.


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2012-13-20
Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012 09:13 AM
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