Bloomberg News

Facebook Said to Weigh Expanding European Head Office in Dublin

January 24, 2012

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is seeking to more than double the size of its European headquarters in Dublin as the most popular social-networking site prepares for a possible $10 billion initial public offering, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Facebook may move and lease as much as 11,150 square meters (120,000 square feet) of office space in the Irish capital over five years, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is private. Facebook, which set up its Dublin office in 2008, currently occupies about 5,000 square meters of space in the city’s south docklands neighborhood, according to one of the people.

The Dublin office is responsible for all of the company’s users outside of the U.S. and Canada, according to the Irish data-protection agency. Co-founded by Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is examining a $10 billion IPO that would value the Menlo Park, California-based company at more than $100 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said in November.

Among the real-estate options being considered are the former Bank of Ireland headquarters building and two office blocks in south docklands close to Facebook’s existing location, the people said.

The deadline for building owners to pitch proposals for the new space was Jan. 13, the people said. Emily Clarke, a spokeswoman for Facebook in London, declined to comment.

Google Purchase

Some of the biggest technology companies are expanding in Dublin. Google Inc., based in Mountain View, California, bought two Dublin buildings that make up its European headquarters in March for an undisclosed price. Twitter Inc. will open an international office in the city, Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority said in September. Microsoft Corp. may expand its Dublin data center by a third, the Sunday Business Post reported that month.

Facebook has “demand” for office space in Dublin, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said in a report yesterday on the city’s office market. Prime rents in Dublin are 28 euros to 32 euros ($36 to $41) a square foot, down from 55 euros in 2008, Jones Lang said. The report didn’t say how much space Facebook might seek.

Total sales at Facebook in 2012 may surge 52 percent to 62 percent from last year’s projected $4.27 billion through increased ad revenue, according to Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at EMarketer.

--With assistance from Zijing Wu in London. Editors: Jeff St.Onge, Andrew Blackman

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman in Berlin at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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