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Facebook begins the process of becoming publicly-listed company

Facebook is preparing the process of becoming a publicly-listed company this week, valuing the social networking site at between $75 billion and $100 billion, reports suggest.

Facebook plans to file papers with the US financial watchdog on Wednesday, according to the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The flotation later this year would raise about $10 billion, they reported.

This would be one of the biggest share sales seen on Wall Street.

It would dwarf the $1.9 billion raised by Google when it went public in 2004.

It would still, however, be some way short of the $20 billion raised by carmaker General Motors in November 2010.

The reports suggest that Morgan Stanley will be the lead underwriter for the sale, with Goldman Sachs also expected to be heavily involved.

Rumours of Facebook’s so-called initial public offering (IPO) have circulated for many months, and the company has maintained it will not comment on the subject.

The reported valuation would make Facebook one of the world’s biggest companies by market capitalization.

“Facebook a brilliant achievement, but $75-$100 billion? Would make Apple look really cheap,” said Rupert Murdoch on Twitter.

Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg and fellow students at Harvard University in 2004 and has quickly grown to become one of the world’s most popular websites.

It makes most of its money through advertising.