Forthcoming Facebook Motion Said to Discuss Nasdaq’s Role in I.P.O.

Evelyn  M Rusli|The New York Times
Friday, 15 Jun 2012 | 7:26 AM ET

Facebook is preparing for battle. One month after its botched initial public offering, the social network is set to file a motion to consolidate all the shareholder lawsuits against the company, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because the document was still private.

The lead underwriters, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, are expected to join the motion, which could be filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York as early as Friday.

The motion will represent the first time Facebook has publicly addressed the lawsuits and the performance of its highly anticipated, but ultimately lackluster, IPO on May 18.

While the document is expected to be relatively thin on detail, it will provide some perspective on Nasdaq’s role on listing day and the effect its actions had on the stock’s trading activity, the person briefed on the matter said. Facebook is expected to place some blame on Nasdaq, the person added.

The exchange has recently agreed to set aside $40 million to cover broker losses after its system failed to properly process orders on listing day. Nasdaq’s chief, Robert Greifeld, has described his company as “humbly embarrassed,” but the firm has also tried to downplay its role in the stock’s fall.

Nasdaq was not immediately available for comment.

Since Facebook’s I.P.O, the blame game has been popular in Silicon Valley. While many have pointed fingers at Nasdaq, others have taken aim at Facebook and its underwriters for pursuing a large offering at a high price.

Facebook’s stock has tumbled in the public markets since its debut, disappointing shareholders. More than 30 cases have been filed against Facebook, mostly in New York and California. While shares of Facebook rose more than 3 percent to $28.29 on Thursday, the stock remains more than 25 percent below its offering price of $38 per share.

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