Pretty much anything that does not go exactly according to plan in the securities markets these days is likely to spark a frenzy of lawsuits, and Facebook’s rocky public debut is no exception.
At least three lawsuits have been filed over the company’s initial public offering, including one in the Southern District of New York on behalf of three purchasers of Facebook common stock. The suit alleges that Facebook’s SEC filings prior to going public included “untrue statements of material fact,” chiefly regarding the company’s admission that its ability to monetize mobile users remains a challenge.
From the lawsuit:
The defendants named in the suit include Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg, CFO David Ebersman and Chief Accounting Officer David Spillane; board members Marc Andreessen, Erskine Bowles, Jim Breyer, Donald Graham, Reed Hastings and Peter Thiel; and underwriters Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital....MOREThe true facts at the time of the IPO were that Facebook was then experiencing a severe and pronounced reduction in revenue growth due to an increase of users of its Facebook app or website through mobile devices rather than a traditional PC such that the Company told the Underwriter Defendants to materially lower their revenue forecasts for 2012. And, defendants failed to disclose that during the roadshow conducted in connection with the IPO, certain of the Underwriter Defendants reduced their second quarter and full year 2012 performance estimates for Facebook, which revisions were material information which awas not shared with all Facebook investors, but rather, was selectively disclosed by defendants to certain preferred investors and omitted from the Registration Statement and/or Prospectus.