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Facebook $100BN Mega Float Early 2012 As Users Stall

  And what’s more values soaring as high as $100 billion have been tipped.

Sources close to the network have said the IPO is likely early next year as it hits ‘the 500 rule,’ at which point it must release quarterly financial statements.

When private shareholders hit 500, a company is obliged to issue financial statements to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, a figure which Facebook looks set to reach later this year.

This comes as its user numbers have hit negative growth for the first time with falling numbers in in US, UK, Canada, Norway and Russia. However, global user figures are fast approaching 700m worldwide.

This comes as fellow social web start up LinkedIn, whose public offering was met with open arms by investors when it  kicked off late last month, saw first day trading shares hit a whopping $83 – double its initial $45 price.

Online daily deals giant Groupon also filed a registration statement in the US to go public early this month looking to raise $750m, despite reporting a loss of US $102.7 million in the last quarter.

But that’s not the only reason for the move by Facebook.

Sources indicate it is also looking to reward staff who hold shares in Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild, by allowing them to cash in on the potential shares bonanza, something which it currently forbids it from doing under current rules as a private company, reports CNBC.

And this could very possibly be the case considering arch rival Google is now officially the best technology company to work for, with each of its 26,000 global staff earning a median salary of US $141,000, according to a recent survey.

  The search giant has also sweetened staff by giving a $1000 bonus tax free and a 10 per cent pay rise to discourage flight to rivals like Facebook and Apple.