Facebook IPO roadshow scheduled for May 7-source

Tue May 1, 2012 7:46pm EDT

* May 7 roadshow means stock may debut May 18-source

* Zuckerberg to be involved in roadshow-source

* Regulatory review of Facebook IPO near completion-source

By Alistair Barr and Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1 (Reuters) - The roadshow for Facebook Inc's initial public offering is scheduled to start on Monday, meaning the company's shares should begin trading on May 18, a source familiar with the process said on Tuesday.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has mostly operated in the background during Facebook's journey to public markets, will be involved in the roadshow, another source said.

IPO roadshows, in which company management present their strategy to prospective investors, typically last two weeks. If the roadshow goes particularly well, shares sometimes start trading a few days earlier.

A source familiar with the offering said last week that a recent acquisition spurt by the largest social network could have added about a week to the IPO timetable as regulators signed off on the deals.

However, this review is close to completion, allowing the company to go ahead with the roadshow on Monday, the source added. The sources did not want to be identified because they are not authorized to speak about the company's IPO.

Facebook is set to raise at least $5 billion in what will likely be the largest Silicon Valley IPO ever.

"I have not seen as broad-based interest in an IPO since Google. Investor demand is immense," said Scott Sweet of research firm IPO Boutique. "I expect a roadshow that will rival all roadshows where investors will be turned away at the door."

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