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The Zynga IPO 'delay'

August 29, 2011: 11:41 AM ET

The story that Zynga may delay its IPO is a non-story.

When Zynga filed for its $1 billion IPO in June, conventional wisdom was that it would go public sometime after Labor Day. Not because anyone had actual inside information, but because "sometime after Labor Day" seemed to make sense.

Companies almost never go public at the end of August due to banker/buyer vacations, and scheduling in November can run up against Thanksgiving if anything goes wrong (internally or externally). And then you could run up against the exact same problem with Christmas, and now you're into the following year. So set your pricing terms during the first or second week of September -- along with Q3 financials -- do your road show and be trading by Columbus Day.

The NY Post, however, this morning breathlessly reports that "Zynga loses zing." Here's a sampling:

"Wall Street turmoil is affecting the timing of Zynga's public debut. The social-gaming company, which had been racing to launch an initial public offering early next month, is no longer in a rush because of the rocky stock markets, said two sources with knowledge of Zynga's plans... While Zynga is still pursuing an IPO in earnest, its public debut could be delayed until November, said another source close to the company... The ultimate decision depends on more favorable market conditions, and Zynga hopes to have more clarity after Labor Day."

In other words, Zynga will reevaluate after meeting with its back-from-vacation bankers. Is it really news that market volatility might push things back a few weeks? Doesn't that happen any time the Dow forgets to take its meds, and hundred-plus point swings become the norm?

This is not a story about Zynga losing anything, let along its "zing." Need proof. Just try substituting any other IPO candidate where the NY Post writes Zynga.

For example: "While Groupon is still pursuing an IPO in earnest, its public debut could be delayed until November." Or... "In June, Avaya pushed full speed ahead when it filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $1 billion. The company was hoping for an IPO as soon as possible, or in early September."

It's not until the end of the NY Post story that we get some Zynga-specific stuff about how the SEC has asked to company to clarify certain pieces of information. But, again, this happens with a lot of IPO candidates. Rarely does it, in and of itself, result in a major offering delay.

Zynga has no need to rush its IPO, given that it's sitting on nearly $1 billion in cash. But it still plans to go public sometime after Labor Day. Until and unless that changes, there is really nothing to see here.

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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