Facebook will begin the process of becoming a publicly-listed company this week, valuing the social networking site at between $75bn and $100bn.

The company plans to file papers with the US financial watchdog on Wednesday, according to the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The flotation later this year would raise about $10bn, they reported.
This would be one of the biggest share sales seen on Wall Street.

It would dwarf the $1.9bn raised by Google when it went public in 2004.

It would still, however, be some way short of the $20bn raised by carmaker General Motors in November 2010.

The reports suggest that Morgan Stanley will be the lead underwriter for the sale, with Goldman Sachs also expected to be heavily involved.

Rumors of Facebook’s so-called initial public offering (IPO) have circulated for many months, and the company has maintained it will not comment on the subject.

The reported valuation would make Facebook one of the world’s biggest companies by market capitalization.

“Facebook a brilliant achievement, but $75-$100bn? Would make Apple look really cheap,” said Rupert Murdoch on Twitter.