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Facebook plans '12 IPO or disclose financial data, memo says

Facebook Inc., the world's largest social-networking company, will start disclosing financial data or hold an initial public offering by April, 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a private-placement memo.

Facebook expects to surpass the 500-shareholder limit this year, triggering a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule that requires privately held companies to release financial details, the newspaper said.

The company is holding a private share offering through Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a move that has shed light on Facebook's financial results and plans. Goldman Sachs and funds managed by the firm have invested $450 million in Facebook, according to an offering document sent to potential investors this week. The firm also has an arrangement to let clients make additional investments of as much as $1.5 billion.

Facebook had $1.2 billion of revenue and $355 million in profit during the first nine months of 2010, according to the New York Times, which cited documents sent to Goldman Sachs clients.

Facebook, once expected to go public in 2011, had been anticipated to put that off until 2012.

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