WSJ: These Companies Got the Inside Track on Facebook's Doomed IPO

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The proverbial continues to hit the fan over Facebook's IPO. Investors are trying to get their lost money back through the courts and Morgan Stanley are being blamed for all kinds of dubious activities. Now, the Wall Street Journal has confirmed the names of companies who Morgan Stanley tipped off about Facebook's doomed offering.


Staff from Morgan Stanely—acting on information from a Facebook executive—decided to warn a small, select number of large companies off from the IPO. From the Journal's article:

"Capital Research & Management wanted to buy into the Facebook Inc.initial public offering. But days before the IPO, an underwriting bank on the deal warned the big investment firm about Facebook's dimming revenue prospects...

"The Los Angeles firm, armed with information from a May 11 "roadshow" meeting with underwriters and Facebook, along with similar estimates of its own, slashed the number of shares it intended to buy...

"Fidelity Investments was among big clients that were told by analysts or bank sales staff of the declining Facebook financial picture, people familiar with the matter say. The nation's third-largest mutual fund firm expressed frustration to Morgan Stanley about Facebook valuations based on the dimming prospects for the company, the people say."


All of which is very, very dubious. It will be interesting to see if any other names come creeping out of the woodwork—and how Facebook and Morgan Stanley manage to deal with the continuing saga. Especially Facebook; while Morgan Stanley's actions were undoubtedly unethical, they may well not have been illegal. But if Facebook hid important information about its financial condition from the larger investment community, well, that's how class action lawsuits get won. [Wall Street Journal via Business Insider]