Facebook and IPO Underwriters Sued by InvestorsBy: Shawn Hess - May 23, 2012
If you thought Facebook was in the news a lot for their patent lawsuits, welcome to IPO litigation. Interested parties are crawling out of the woodwork to contest the bullshit events that surround Facebook’s IPO and everyone involved. As we just reported this morning, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has subpoenaed documents pertaining to Morgan Stanley’s revised revenue forecast the week before the Facebook IPO. The gist of that report is a decreased ad revenue projected for the company spanning the remainder of 2012.
Now, Reuters has gotten word that some of Facebook’s largest shareholders have filed a suit in New York claiming top executives involved in the IPO concealed critical documents during the IPO’s promotional investor roadshow. Which, actually, we already know they did. The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Obviously the investors are suing for losses and damages stemming from what can only be called a “bad investment”. The complain reads,”the value of Facebook common stock has declined substantially and plaintiffs and the class have sustained damages as a result,”. On Tuesday, a similar case was filed in California relating to the exact same issue.
As I mentioned this morning, It seems the reaction to the reduced earnings projections was to issue more shares and increase the price of them. If you remember, Facebook added over 50 million shares to the IPO just days before the offering. Now even more suspicious, is the huge amount of shares voluntarily offered by Facebook insiders and early investors, also just before the IPO. It seems like they knew the stock would decline shortly after the offering.
So it appears a lot of people got rich off the IPO, but unfortunately for some, a lot of people are also going to be sued. So much for the much anticipated Facebook IPO. It may not go down as one of highest revenue generating offers, but it may be one of the biggest scandals. We’ll keep you posted as new information becomes available.