Facebook friends 25 more banks

The reception at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Facebook now has 31 banks involved in the company’s much-anticipated stock offering.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story misstated the ownership of the Mutual Fund Store. It is an independent company. The story also misstated the title of Adam Bold. He is chairman of the Mutual Fund Store. The text has been corrected.

Kai Ryssdal: An interesting thing happened on the way to the Facebook IPO today. The company decided it needs a little more help to sell more that $5 billion worth of itself when it goes public sometime soon. I know: You figure, how hard that it be? I mean, the whole world wants shares of Facebook. They just need someone to stand by the cash register and take the money, right? Well, no. Our New York bureau chief Heidi Moore has the story.


Heidi Moore: Facebook has updated the status of its IPO. It’s in a relationship -- with 25 more banks. That’s a lot of new friends. Facebook’s shares are highly sought after, and now a total of 31 banks are out peddling the stock to investors. When the banks are on Facebook’s friends list, they get the inside track.

 

David Menlow: They have the opportunity to get more shares than would be available to anyone who knocked on the door and said, "Can I get some shares?"

The whole group of banks will  sell shares of Facebook to stockbrokers, pension funds, mutual funds, to every kind of investor, across the globe. It’s like the IPO of the people. Except. Not quite.

Adam Bold: Facebook is a business based on everybody’s equal, everybody has a voice. They want to say hey, we’re trying to do the best we can to get the most distribution -- but that’s all it is, is PR.

Adam Bold is chairman of the Mutual Fund Store, an independent financial advisory service.

Bold: The reality is, the individual investor has almost no shot of getting shares of Facebook on the IPO.

Meaning, before the price spikes on the first day of trading. Bold says Facebook’s 31 banks will, predictably, give the shares to their top clients -- usually the ones with the most money. Banks like to save the best deals for their own friends. In New York, I’m Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.

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