Markets Prep for The Biggest IPO Since Google

According to Facebook insiders, the company is finalizing plans to file for its IPO sometime in the first quarter of 2012. The IPO for Facebook is well-timed politically, as the company inches closer to the landmark of 500 investors, at which (thanks to the SEC) it will be required to publicly disclose its financial statements.

Investors continue to exhibit sateless demand for shares in the world’s leading social network, with transactions on secondary markets progressively indicating higher valuations of ownership in the company. A few months ago preliminary parlor talk placed valuations of Facebook’s net worth at $20-30 billion, but that price range is now looking cheap.

Six weeks ago Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reportedly orchestrated a secondary market deal that sold a $1.5 billion chunk of the company to private investors, giving Facebook an estimated value of $50 billion. Shortly thereafter, additional trades on the secondary market via SharesPost have seen value-estimates soar as high as $85 billion for the social networking hub. Even that mark looks paltry now, as today CNBC reports that insiders believe the company is worth $100 billion, a number which will almost certainly appreciate between now and the date of the IPO.

With Facebook’s valuations soaring, the company is also branching into new media ventures as it is set to host its first live web-broadcast tonight, “The Webby Awards” an e-awards ceremony hosted by Lisa Kudrow. The award procession will bestow acc0lades to actors, companies, artists, media-producers and other sources of “excellence on the Internet.” You can watch “The Webbys” live through streams on Facebook, Youtube, and other host sites on your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or mobile devices. The live broadcast event starts tonight at 8:00 PM ET.

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