The Twitter IPO may be closer than you think. The social-media giant has hired several investment banks for the offering and could take the next step -- making its financial information available to investors -- in coming days, according to two people familiar with the situation.
That would put the company's shares on course to start trading in November, if all goes according to plan. The government shutdown is unlikely to disrupt the offering, as long as it doesn't last too long.
Twitter tapped Goldman Sachs to lead the IPO, with Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch also advising on the offering, according to the people, who did not want to be identified because Twitter's plans are still private.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Twitter also added two boutique banks to the deal -- Allen & Co. and Code Advisors.
Most of the large banks, including Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, are providing Twitter with a credit line, one of the people said. The line may be up to $1 billion, according to several media outlets, including the New York Post. Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser did not respond to a request for comment.
Twitter's IPO is the most important technology offering since Facebook's flawed market debut in May 2012. Twitter has become a powerful way to share information, used by corporate chieftains, presidents and kids alike. The public filing will reveal for the first time how successful the company has been in generating revenue and profit.
Twitter said in September that it had confidentially filed IPO documents with regulators under a new law that allows companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue to keep such details under wraps. However, companies are required to make the documents public about three weeks before the start of "road shows" in which they meet with potential investors in the IPO.
If Twitter makes a public filing in early October, that suggests its road show will start in late October or early November. Road shows typically last a week or two, so Twitter shares could start trading in mid-to-late November, if all goes according to plan.
One potential problem is the U.S. government shutdown. This has the Securities and Exchange Commission running on so-called carryover funds that could last a week or two. The SEC is the regulator that approves IPO filings, so if the shutdown lasts for a long time, it could disrupt some offerings.
© 2013 USA TODAY under contract with YellowBrix. All rights reserved.
Posted: 2013-10-07 @ 6:31am PT
With the announced Twitter IPO, all major social media sites will have gone public. All but one -- Wikipedia remains the only hold-out, the only no-commerce / free-labor / donation-soliciting website, operated by WikiMedia. Will it remain the largest free labor project since the days of the Soviet Union, or will it be the next Internet mega-IPO?