April 5, 2012 2:05pm EST – Sources close to the deal are confirming to PrivCo that Facebook Inc. will file its IPO on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker “FB”. For NASDAQ, this represents a major victory over rival NYSE who had aggressively pursued Facebook’s IPO which is expected to raise between $7 billion and $10 billion when final.
Facebook had strongly considered both options until the last moment, even taking the uncommon step of filing its IPO without citing a specific exchange as the two exchanges agressively courted the Company's listing. At the time of the filing, sources confirmed that Facebook had been leaning towards listing on the New York Stock Exchange, with its aura of blue chip status separating Facebook from recent lower quality IPOs. But Facebook ultimately chose NASDAQ for its lower fees and expertise in tech companies such as Apple and Google who also call NASDAQ home.
In winning Facebook, NASDAQ pulled out all the stops, breaking away from its traditional 4-letter ticker seen in companies from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) to Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA). Even Google's highly sought after IPO (NASDAQ: GOOG) was not given an exception.
Facebook's decision, which has not yet been announced publicly, is a big blow to the NYSE, which had sought to position itself as a home for fast growing private companies to IPO. With last year's listings for Pandora (NYSE: P) and LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), the exchange had hoped to start a trend culminating with winning the Facebook listing.
In related news, Facebook's IPO road show schedule is expected to be announced next week pending final SEC review.