The moment the entire planet and beyond has been waiting for is almost here!
According to Reuters, social networking giant Facebook on Monday will hit the road to hype its initial public offering to investors in anticipation of a May 17 ticker debut.
As with virtually all news about Facebook's IPO, this is based on information provided by anonymous sources, who seek never to manipulate coverage, but merely to assist the media in a totally non-self-interested way. By doing this they ensure that
suckers will get stoked up and wildly inflate share price on the first day of trading the investing public will have all the facts at their disposal so they can make wise choices with their money.
If there's not a Nobel Prize for anonymous Wall Street sources, there should be.
The big question, of course, is whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be part of the roadshow. And the answer, according to another anonymous Reuters source, is a resounding yes.
This should mollify cranky Masters of the Universe who were complaining bitterly a few weeks back after Zuck failed to turn up for an analysts' meeting. Can you imagine? Many sought to vent their anger through the liberal use of Facebook's "Don't Like" button, until they realized there actually isn't a "Don't Like" button. That one really set them off.
But when there's a potential $100 billion valuation at stake, and money to be made off gullible idiots, Wall Street is willing to forgive a minor oversight like that.
So what to expect during the roadshow? Fortunately, ITworld has its own anonymous source who sat in on a roadshow planning meeting and learned what Facebook has in store. I wouldn't even write about this, but Wall Street has done so much for all of us over the years, that I thought it was only proper to return the favor and give wealthy investors a heads-up. It's my small way of thanking the heroic 1%.
Here are five things that will happen on Facebook's IPO roadshow. If this isn't worth, say, 50,000 Friends and Family shares, I don't know what is.
1. Animal sacrifices. As is well-known, Zuck only eats what he kills himself, and he expects major shareholders to do the same. Therefore, no prospective investors will be allowed to participate in the IPO unless they bring livestock into the roadshow meetings, kill the animals in front of Zuck, and then devour them. Small fowl is preferable; cows are known to pee all over ballroom rugs. The stench is unbearable.
2. Sheryl Sandberg will be home by 6 p.m., no exceptions. Facebook's family-friendly COO recently said she leaves the office every day at 5:30 p.m. so she can be home on time to have dinner with her husband and kids. She doesn't care if Lloyd Blankfein is down on his hands and knees giving her a foot massage; when time's up, time's up. For East Coast meetings, she'll have to blow out by 3:30 or so. Deal with it.
3. Bonding rituals. All investors attending roadshow meetings will be required to play Truth or Dare. Naked. Sessions will be videotaped and posted to YouTube.
4. Help settle an old account. It's hard even for a billionaire to make ends meet if he's not paid what he's owed. Paul Ceglia, the guy who claims he's entitled to 50% of Facebook, still owes Zuck $1,000 for work the Facebook founder did on Ceglia's sites while a struggling student at Harvard. Any investor who covers that amount will be in like Flynn. Payment in wood pellets is strongly discouraged.
5. Fence-mending. Zuck feels really, really bad about falling out with the Winklevoss twins, who have long accused him of ripping off their social networking idea while all three attended Harvard. The blow-up between former partners has cost Zuck many sleepless nights and a promised rowing lesson. Expect an emotional reunion -- presided over by none other than Oprah -- at the final stop of the roadshow.
Bonus roadshow surprise. Cover charge: No one gets into a meeting without bringing an organ to donate. It only seems fair.
Now read this: