19 August 2005 Search engine Google is to raise additional cash by selling around $4 billion worth of stock. Google is expected to use the money to fund an acquisition spree.
On Thursday, Google filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying it would sell 14.2 million of its class A shares – worth roughly $3.94 billion at current trading.
In its statement, Google gave few clues as to possible acquisition targets, stating it would use the proceeds for “general corporate purposes, including working capital and capital expenditures, and possible acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies or other assets.”
The revelation has sparked a flurry of interest from industry watchers, keen to predict possible targets for the search company.
John Janedis an analyst at Banc of America Securities told The Financial Times;”We think the company is looking to bolster its position in Asia, where Yahoo holds an advantage.”
But Google may be doing no more than using its current strength to bolster its cash reserves while its stock price is high. Since its IPO in mid-2004, Google’s share price has rocketed.
The number of shares that Google is offering is indicative of its executive’s mathematically-influenced approach to corporate finances. Its initial IPO valued the company at one billion times the mathematical constant ‘e’.
The new share option sees Google releasing 14,159,265 shares – equivalent to the first eight digits that follow the decimal in the value of pi (3.14159265).
Google has two kinds of share, classes A and B, with the latter’s vote worth 10 times the former’s.
Most of the class B shares are owned by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and chief executive Eric Schmidt.
The offering has been underwritten by Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse First Boston and Allen &Company.