Thursday, January 06, 2011

LinkedIn plans to go public in 2011

NEW YORK (Reuters) - LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, plans to go public in 2011 and has selected its financial underwriters, three sources familiar with the process told Reuters.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and JPMorgan are among the book runners, these sources said. Bankers made their pitches to the privately-held company in November, one of the sources said.

"An IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider," a spokesman for LinkedIn said on Wednesday. He declined further comment.

Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Zynga, a popular maker of online social games, are considering offerings well ahead of a potential IPO of Facebook, two sources said.

"Some of these companies want to go public because they want to beat Facebook and others out," said one of the sources. "If Facebook went public before Linkedin, do you think anyone would pay that much attention to Linkedin?" You might want to surpass the beast."

Zynga couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

Facebook is not expected to file for a public offering until late 2012, Facebook board member Peter Thiel told Reuters in September.

But that could change. Regulators are scrutinizing a $500 million investment and a commitment to raise at least $1 billion more in Facebook this week by Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, one of the sources said.

The SEC is reviewing whether the number of shareholders in Facebook has exceeded a 499 limit in order to remain private. If the SEC decided Facebook has moved past the threshold, it could accelerate Facebook's timeline for an offering, the source said.

Facebook and Goldman have declined to comment.

The people familiar with the process said LinkedIn is hoping to attract investors on its reputation as one of the Web's fastest growing social network sites.

The site claims more than 85 million members.

The filing of LinkedIn's S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which contains the basic financial information of an issuer, could take months, said one of the sources.

"There are lots of things that are worked on that they could put on hold; they miss numbers; they want to grow a little more," another of the sources said.

Linkedin, which does not disclose financial results, makes money from advertising and premium services. The valuation of a Linkedin IPO was not given by the sources.

Sales of its stock on online secondary market exchange SharesPost gives LinkedIn an implied valuation of around $2.2 billion.

In an interview with Reuters in September, Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said the company has had discussions with bankers, but wouldn't "characterize it as being specific about discussing IPOs." He said that such conversations have occurred since he joined the company as interim president in early 2009.

LinkedIn's investors include Sequoia Capital -- the venture capital firm that has backed Yahoo, Google, Apple Cisco Systems and Oracle -- Greylock Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Goldman Sachs.

Just remembered an old song I used to play on the radio and I loved!

Angel of the Morning

There'll be no strings to bind your hands
Not if my love can't bind your heart.
And there's no need to take a stand
For it was I who chose to start.
I see no need to take me home,
I'm old enough to face the dawn.

Just call me angel of the morning Angel
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.
Just call me angel of the morning Angel
Then slowly turn away from me.

Maybe the sun's light will be dim
And it won't matter anyhow.
If morning's echo says we ve sinned,
Well, it was what I wanted now.
And if we're the victims of the night,
I won't be blinded by light.

Just call me angel of the morning Angel
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.
Just call me angel of the morning Angel
Then slowly turn away,
I won't beg you to stay with me
Through the tears of the day,
Of the years, baby baby baby.

Just call me angel of the morning Angel
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.

Angel of the Morning - Song Lyrics
Written by Chip Taylor (born James Wesley Voight) who is the younger brother of actor Jon Voight. Chip also wrote "Wild Thing", which was a big hit for The Troggs in 1966
Originally performed by Merrillee Rush & The Turnabouts
The original version hit #7 on the Top 40 charts in 1968
Remade in 1981 by Juice Newton (born Judy Kay Cohen 2/18/52 in Lakehurst NJ)
The remake went to #4 on the Top 40 charts back in 1981, it was Newton's first top 40 hit

Constitution (As Edited) Read on House Floor

House Representatives participated this morning in a full reading of the Constitution of the United States, marking the first such occasion in American history -- though the version of the Constitution that was read varied from the original document.

Following initial questions regarding which Constitutional document was being read - the amended or original Constitution - Rep. Bob Goodlatte, of Virginia, who is leading the proceedings, made some clarifications.

"The text we are reading today reflects the changes to the document made by the 27 amendments to it. Those portions superseded by amendment will not be read," said Goodlatte.

But as the readings proceeded, it became clear that Republicans had left out some, but not all, portions of the Constitution that were later changed, notes CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss.

Among those areas omitted from the congressional reading was the section of Article I covering the "three fifths compromise," which quantified slaves as three-fifths of a person for taxation and apportionment purposes. Congress also skipped over the 18th amendment, which imposed Prohibition -- but did read the amendment repealing it.

House members also read a portion of a Constitutional clause referring to the preservation of voting rights for "males" "over the age of 21" -- which was later changed.

In remarks preceding the reading, Illinois Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. noted though he was "not trying to take a shot at the process," he objected to leaving out some such portions, because doing so eliminated evidence of the changes to the Constitution for which African Americans and women had long fought.

"Many of us don't want that to be lost upon the reading of our sacred document," Jackson said.

Later this afternoon, Jackson released a statement condemning what he described as the GOP's "redacted Constitutional reading."

"The new Republican majority and their redacted Constitutional reading gives little deference to the long history of improving the Constitution and only seeks an interpretation of our Constitution based on the now, not the historic, broad body of law and struggle that it has taken to get there," Jackson said. "It leaves out the need to continue to refine the Constitution so that we have a more perfect union."

Speaker of the House John Boehner kicked off the proceedings, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi followed him up with the reading of Article I. Civil rights John Lewis leader read the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

The reading was briefly interrupted during the reading of Article II, Section 1, which requires the president to be a "natural-born citizen, when a woman, apparently a member of the "birther" movement who was seated in the front row of the public gallery, screamed out,
"Except Obama, except Obama. Help us Jesus." The Sergeant at Arms was called in and the woman was arrested.