Aussie bank gets a slice of the Facebook IPO as tech giant changes listing documents to address mobile ad concerns

Australian investment banking giant Macquarie Bank will be part of the biggest tech listing of all time after snaring a minor role in the initial public offering of Facebook.

Macquarie was listed as one of about 30 underwriters to the giant float, which is expected to raise about $5 billion result in the social media giant listing with a market capitalisation of about $100 billion.

Macquarie’s role is relatively minor – JP Morgan is the lead on the float – but the cachet associated with being linked to the float is something to celebrate.

The Australian bank’s role was revealed after Facebook refiled key listing documents with the New York Stock Exchange.

The refiling corrected and clarified a number of points and updated the original documents.

One area of particular interest was the way Facebook is trying to subtly reshape opinions of its mobile advertising capabilities, after the company said in its orginal finding that its lack of a mobile advertising product was a key risk for investors.

Facebook has since announced that it will begin offering a mobile advertising product called Sponsored Stories. The new filing say that Facebook’s mobile ads are “unproven” rather than non-existent.

But at the same time the company has sought to emphasise that its growing army of mobile users still also access the site from PCs and tablets, which do carry advertisements.

“We estimate that approximately 58 million mobile monthly active users (MAUs) accessed Facebook solely through mobile apps or our mobile website during the month ended December 31, 2011, and the remaining 374 million mobile MAUs accessed Facebook from both personal computers and mobile devices during that month.”

The message? Facebook’s mobile ads may be unproven, but it’s still getting some ads in front of the vast majority of users each month.

The revised filing also clears up any lasting confusion potential investors might have over their voting power in Facebook. The company uses a slightly complex Class A and Class B system, where Class A shares have voting rights.

Mark Zuckerberg owns the biggest stake of Class A shares and as the revised filing makes clear, that gives him enormous power.

“Mr Zuckerberg has the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of directors and any merger, consolidation, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets. This concentrated control could delay, defer, or prevent a change of control, merger, consolidation, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets that our other stockholders support, or conversely this concentrated control could result in the consummation of such a transaction that our other stockholders do not support.

“This concentrated control could also discourage a potential investor from acquiring our Class A common stock due to the limited voting power of such stock relative to the Class B common stock and might harm the market price of our Class A common stock.”


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