Social networking giant Facebook has filed papers to sell some $5 billion of stock in what is likely to be the most ambitious initial public offering in U.S. history.
Analysts are predicting the Facebook flotation will easily top that of Google Inc, which sold $1.9 billion in shares when it went public in 2004.
The stock-market debut is expected to take place in three to four months, likely proving a landmark event in the stampede of social-media firms turning for funds to U.S. stock exchanges.
Facebook's filing documents provide one of the most comprehensive looks yet at the business, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg was catapulted to fame and fortune as the site set a new standard in social networking.
The company claims to have had 845 million users by the end of 2011, with more than half using the site daily, and cites revenues in 2011 of $3.7 billion, up nearly 90 percent on the year before.
Zuckerburg owns 28 percent of the company, whose IPO is said to value the company at up to $100 billion.
Facebook has also been instrumental in spreading the word about protests in the Middle East during the Arab Spring.
Compiled from agency reports