A Peek Inside Google's Prospectus

Google Inc. continued its unorthodox initial public offering yesterday by meeting face to face with large, institutional investors while preparing to unveil a novel virtual roadshow for individual investors.

Buried in its Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission are many slides with narration that Google plans to post on a new Web site, www.ipo.google.com. Google is creating an online presentation, rather than relying solely on a written prospectus, to reach out to the millions of people who use the search engine to navigate the Internet, according to people familiar with the strategy. It may even link to the roadshow site from its Google.com site.

The slides, in effect, represent Google's best effort, within the constraints of federal securities laws, to explain why the company considers itself an excellent potential investment. But for all the discussion about a bright future, there are also ample warnings about the risks involved in buying shares of the search engine giant.

"An investment in Google involves significant risk," the first slide says. "We're not just saying that. There are many risk factors listed in the prospectus. You should review them carefully before going any further."

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News source: The Washington Post

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