(Reuters) - The fallout from Facebook Inc's messy initial public offering widened on Wednesday as shareholders sued the social network and its bankers while a trading firm revealed a massive loss on the shares and threatened to seek "remedies."
Nasdaq stock exchange also came under further pressure as a source close to the situation told Reuters that NYSE Euronext had opened discussions with Facebook about a potential stock listing there. Nasdaq also faces litigation from angry investors.
Facebook's listing, envisioned as a crowning moment for an eight-year-old company that has become a business and cultural phenomenon, has instead turned into a legal and public relations fiasco for the company and its lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley.
Serious trading glitches interfered with the stock's opening on Friday, and subsequent revelations by Reuters that analysts had quietly reduced their revenue forecasts prior to the IPO have led to accusations of selective disclosure of material information. The shares closed at $32 on Wednesday, 15 percent below the IPO price.
A lawsuit filed on Wednesday seeking class-action status alleged that defendants -- including Facebook, its Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co -- concealed "a severe and pronounced reduction" in revenue growth forecasts resulting from greater use of Facebook's app or website through mobile devices.
It also accused Facebook of telling its bank underwriters to "materially lower" their forecasts for the company. The lawsuit said the underwriters disclosed the lowered forecasts to "preferred" investors only.
"The main underwriters in the middle of the roadshow reduced their estimates and didn't tell everyone," said Samuel Rudman, a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, which brought the lawsuit. The firm is among the leading securities class actions firms in the country.
"I don't think any investor in Facebook wouldn't have wanted to know that information."