Facebook will disclose extensive financial information or go public by early 2012 following a $2bn private fund-raising which values the social networking site at $50bn, according to people close to the situation.
The news is contained in a 100-page document sent to Goldman Sachs' clients looking to participate in the cash-call, the Financial Times reports.
It is likely to trigger a frenzy of activity among investors, banks and other advisers keen to be involved in one of the most highly-anticipated listings of recent years.
However, some financial commentators have criticised Facebook's $50bn valuation as "absurd" when compared to other companies with the same price tag, and are warning of another dot.com boom and bust.
Supermarket group Tesco, also valued at $50bn, is expected to record pre-tax profits of £3.7bn ($5.7bn) this year. It is suggested Facebook achieved revenues, not profits, of just $2bn last year.
Nevertheless, Facebook’s revelation that it will reveal more data or go public will quell criticism that it and Goldman structured the latest cash-call to avoid US rules requiring companies with more than 500 shareholders to publicly disclose financial information.
In the document, Facebook states it expects to break the 500 investor threshold by year's end, forcing it to register its shares with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and report financial data like listed companies do.
Goldman is leading the fund-raising and investing $375m of its own funds into the Facebook, allowing the bank’s clients and top executives to buy into the company.
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