Facebook changes IPO pitch in Boston, scraps video

BOSTON Tue May 8, 2012 2:16pm EDT

An investor holds prospectus explaining the Facebook stock after attending a show for Facebook Inc's initial public offering at the Four Season's Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts May 8, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

An investor holds prospectus explaining the Facebook stock after attending a show for Facebook Inc's initial public offering at the Four Season's Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts May 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

BOSTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's initial public offering pitch played to some bad reviews in New York, so for its Boston audience on Tuesday, the 30-minute video was scrapped and the company took more questions from analysts and potential investors.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg did not attend the breakfast pitch at the Four Seasons hotel in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. Facebook did not play the video, as it did in New York, after grumblings that not enough time was left for questions from the audience, according to analysts who spoke with Facebook officials.

The Boston event attracted about 200 people, including analysts, hedge fund managers and Will Danoff, who manages the $84 billion Contrafund for Fidelity Investments.

The 8-year-old social network that began as Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room project has indicated an IPO per-share range of $28 to $35, pegging the potential value of the company at $77 billion to $96 billion. Some attendees expressed disappointment that Zuckerberg did not make an appearance, but said they liked having more time to ask questions.

One analyst, who did not want to be named, said no reason was given for Zuckerberg's absence. Facebook was not available to comment and reporters were not admitted to the presentation.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was present to answer potential investors' questions, which ranged from the company's strategy in China to revenue-per-customer trends, attendees said.

The IPO for Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is expected to raise up to $10.6 billion, an amount that would best the debuts of tech companies such as Google Inc while giving it a total stock market value that rivals Amazon.com Inc's.

On Monday, Facebook kicked off its cross-country IPO roadshow tour in New York, where Zuckerberg showed up wearing a "hoodie" sweatshirt. He also fielded questions, including about its $1 billion purchase of Instagram, a deal that Zuckerberg personally negotiated.

(Reporting By Tim McLaughlin; editing by Aaron Pressman and Maureen Bavdek)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (9)
soulice wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

May 08, 2012 11:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
drewsands wrote:
Zuckerberg did not show up and NYC the home of WALL STREET gave it aweful reviews. I know 2 people that went to the NYC event and most left saying no to the ipo. I got to say no from what I am hearing here at the show in Boston. China are they joking impossible. Revenue dropped last quarter.

May 08, 2012 11:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
Out on a limb . . . I think the IPO will be Zuckerberg’s folly. In addition, Facebook has been flying way too close to the sun . . . It’s wings will fall off, just like Icarus.

May 08, 2012 12:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.