Facebook 'may expand in Dublin'


Facebook is reportedly considering more than doubling the size of its European headquarters in Dublin.

The move comes ahead of a possible $10 billion initial public offering (IPO) later this year.

Bloomberg reported today that the popular social networking site may lease as much as 11,150sq m of office space in the capital over a five-year period.

Facebook, which set up its Dublin office in 2008, currently occupies about 5,000sq m of space at Grand Canal Dock. The Irish Times reported in November that the company had agreed to rent a further 1,021sq m in the Hanover Reach office block, where it is currently based.

Among the options now reportedly being considered by the firm are the former Bank of Ireland headquarters building on Baggot Street and two office blocks close to its existing office, said Bloomberg.

The social networking giant has more than 800 million active users.

Facebook’s Dublin employees mainly work in advertising, multilingual sales support, finances, human resources, user operations and development. The company employs about 300 people locally having taken on an additional 100 staff last year.

Revenues at the Irish subsidiary rose from €15.2 million to €229.1 million in 2010, according to the accounts lodged at the Companies Office late last year.

Facebook Ireland also generated a pretax profit of €1.9 million in 2010, up from €297,000 in 2009.

The social network recently agreed to make significant changes to the way its handles its users’ privacy and data following an audit by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which was published in December.

Co-founded by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook is currently examining a $10 billion IPO that would value the California-based company at more than $100 billion.

The company is just one of a large number of well-known technology giants to set up base in Ireland. Others include Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Yahoo and Twitter.

A spokeswoman for Facebook this evening refused to comment.