Facebook plans to file documents as early as Wednesday for a highly anticipated IPO that will value the world's largest social network at between $75 billion and $100 billion, the Wall Street Journal cited unidentified sources as saying on Friday.
Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is a strong front-runner to be the lead underwriter on what would be one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history, the Journal cited its sources as saying. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is expected to play a significant role in the deal too, the newspaper added.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.
The impending IPO - expected to raise $10 billion - is a prized trophy for investment banks, setting up a fierce competition on Wall Street, particularly between the presumed front-runners Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Shares of Internet and social-networking companies rose after the news, with LinkedIn Corp (LNKD.N) closing 5.9 percent higher at $76.64 and Zynga Inc (ZNGA.O) gaining 5.6 percent to $10.05.
GSV Capital (GSVC.O), an investment firm that owns Facebook shares, jumped 17.8 percent to $17.79.