Facebook selects Nasdaq over NYSE for IPO

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Facebook plans to list its shares on the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock market, a blow to the rival New York Stock Exchange, which had fought for the listing.

Facebook, which is on the verge of what could be a $100-billion initial public stock offering, is considered the hottest stock listing in years. Facebook filed Feb. 1 for the largest and one of the most hotly anticipated Internet IPOs in years. Facebook shares have soared in trading on the secondary markets.

A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the NYSE. Joseph Christinat, a Nasdaq OMX spokesman, didn’t respond to a request for comment.


Nasdaq plans to give Facebook a rare two-digit ticker “FB,” said Sam Hamadeh, chief executive of PrivCo. Hamadeh said he confirmed that Facebook would list on Nasdaq with two sources close to the deal whom he declined to name.

“It’s a huge win for NASDAQ,” Hamadeh said. “Several weeks ago they had been leaning toward NYSE and even filed for the IPO without specifying the exchange, which is uncommon. That’s how neck and neck NYSE and NASDAQ were.”

But Nasdaq’s lower fees and expertise with technology companies won over Facebook, Hamadeh said. Nasdaq lists seven of the 10 biggest U.S. tech companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft.

NYSE has tried to pitch itself as a haven not just for traditional blue-chip companies but also young private companies, winning listings for LinkedIn and Zillow. But Nasdaq won Groupon and Zynga.

“I’m not surprised they are listing with the NASDAQ. I’ve always considered the New York Stock Exchange a long-shot given the heavy concentration of technology names currently listed on NASDAQ,” said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of Destination Wealth Management.

The New York Times first reported the listing, citing a person with knowledge of the decision whom it did not name.



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