Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and JPMorgan are among the book runners. Bankers made their pitches to the privately-held company in November.
“An IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider,” a spokesman for LinkedIn said yesterday. He declined further comment.
Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Zynga, a popular maker of online social games, are considering offerings well ahead of a potential IPO of Facebook.
“Some of these companies want to go public because they want to beat Facebook and others [to get to an IPO first],” said one of the sources.
“If Facebook went public before LinkedIn, do you think anyone would pay that much attention to LinkedIn?”
Facebook is not expected to file for a public offering until late 2012, Facebook board member Peter Thiel said in September.
But that could change. Regulators are scrutinising a $500m (£323.6m) investment and a commitment to raise at least $1bn more in Facebook this week by Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, one of the sources said. LinkedIn is hoping to attract investors on its reputation as one of the web’s fastest growing social network sites.