Google IPO: Let the Backlash Begin

Google may have chose a bad time for its IPO – the market for technology stocks is slowing and companies like Nanosys are cancelling their own offerings.

Analysts believe that members of the public will invest in Google because of the brand, and the Dutch auction scheme has a populist appeal. Indeed, the New York Times has even reported that Jerry Kaplan, has warned his mother not to buy Google stock. Many institutions are taking the tried and trusted “wait and see” approach.

With MSN breathing down Google’s neck with new features and Windows integration, they have tough times ahead.

Google’s 24.6 million shares are expected to raise US$3 billion (€2.5 billion) for the company, and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Google executives believe that the company will be worth up to US$36 billion (€29.8 billion) on the day of the IPO.

It also transpired this week that Google has issued 30 million shares to staff, but failed to register them. This may be a serious breach of stock market regulations, and the company is now planning to buy the shares back – though at prices much lower than the US$108 to US$135 (€90 to €112) estimates for IPO stock. A rescission of the unregistered stock would only cost Google about US$26 million (€21.5 million) out of their US$0.5 billion (€0.4 billion) cash reserves.

Google’s IPO

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?