Dueling Facebook IPO demand stories today:
Bloomberg at 4:53 am: Facebook IPO Said to Get Weaker-Than-Forecast Demand
Reuters at 5:53 am: Facebook’s IPO already oversubscribed: source
Here’s what’s going on.
The Bloomberg story broke and team Facebook (the company and their investment bankers) reacted, choosing Reuters to voice the counter message.
Bloomberg was first and has named sources. Reuters is all “people close to” sources.
Since the company’s in a quiet period, all the positive stuff they and their bankers say has to be off record. But it’s still worth noting that the first story has named sources, the second (reactive) story has none.
Still, you can’t read much into that. The Reuters story (fed by team Facebook) would read the same whether the Bloomberg story was correct or not.
My sources say that the road show is a bit slow and investors don’t like some of what they’re seeing. In particular, the massive move users seem to be making to mobile.
That doesn’t mean Facebook’s IPO is failing. Not even close. But from what I can tell right now the Bloomberg story is correct, and the Reuters story isn’t.
As an aside, I haven’t talked much about IPOs over the years much because, well, there haven’t been many of them.
But as a lawyer I worked on dozens of IPOs and other public offerings in the late 90s, and the games that are played are fantastically entertaining. Deal psychology is very important and monitored closely.