Wall Street Rejoices and Prepares for Twitter IPO

Source: OTA Photos

Twitter is finally making plans to join the public stock market. And perhaps the only ones more excited that Twitter founders, employees, or private investors are... investment bankers.

While the junior-level investment banking analysts are undoubtedly dreading the laborious nights filled with financial modeling, travel sales pitches, and more, the rainmakers are surely smiling. To the surprise of few, Goldman Sachs is reportedly set to be the lead underwriter on the deal. Some estimates for Twitter's valuation have been as high as $15 billion -- in the end, this could move higher or lower, based on demand.

While the potential valuation is a far cry from the $100+ billion price tag placed on Facebook  (NASDAQ: FB  ) (during its IPO process, there will still be plenty of fee-pie to go around for Goldman and its Wall Street brethren each to get a hardy slice.

Details of the deal remain sparse at the moment, but more investment banks will surely have a hand in the IPO process. Almost three dozen banks were involved in the Facebook IPO process -- with Morgan Stanley  (NYSE: MS  ) serving as the lead underwriter, and eventual scapegoat for the various hiccups. In all, its likely the high-rollers of Wall Street, like JPMorgan Chase  (NYSE: JPM  ) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , will be involved in some capacity.

According to PwC, the typical investment banking fee for going public, also known as the underwriter's discount, can range from 5%-7% of gross proceeds. Note that it is based on proceeds, not total valuation. Although it's unclear how much capital Twitter intends to ultimately raise, the firm could potentially end up paying less than the 5%-7% -- the larger the offering, the bigger the discount.

For example, according to Bloomberg, the median fee for the 10-largest IPOs before Facebook was 3.6%. However, Facebook only coughed up 1.1% of the $16 billion it raised -- resulting in a $176 million payout for Morgan Stanley and friends.

Investing in hot IPOs can often be a wild and dangerous ride for individual investors without access to shares at the IPO price, potentially leading to quick and sharp losses. While some investors could potentially get burned, the one thing we know for sure: Wall Street is getting paid.

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