Facebook could delay $60bn float to second half of 2012

FACEBOOK will delay its initial public offering (IPO) until the end of next year so employees can focus on developing products for the social networking website, according to reports.

Facebook, which is expected to have one of the biggest IPOs in history, plans to go public at the end of 2012, a later public debut than it originally planned. The float had been scheduled for April, with some suggesting it could even be this year.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is said to want to delay an IPO until September or later in 2012 to avoid employees becoming distracted by the prospect of a pay-out from their share options, according to the FT.

The decision was said to be unrelated to market conditions.

The world’s most popular social networking site is being advised by Goldman Sachs, which is also a major investor in the company, valuing it at around $60bn– similar to the value at which commodities trader Glencore floated earlier this year.

Facebook’s revenue is said to have doubled to $1.6bn in the first half of this year. The firm declined to comment on its float plans last night.