Google files for unusual $2.7 billion IPO

Internet search leader Google filed to go public on Thursday, seeking to raise $2.7 billion in an unusual auction-style offering that will give the founders rare control over the company.

The registration filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission offers an estimate of what the company believes it may be able to raise with its initial public offering, although the filing does not disclose the number of shares that will be offered nor the range in price for those shares. As a result, the potential market value of the company will not be available until the company files an amendment to its IPO, listing the number of shares it will offer and the price range for those shares.

In an unusual provision for a technology company, Google will create two classes of shares with different voting rights, a move that aims to guarantee that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will maintain decision-making authority. Such structures have proven beneficial in media companies, such as The New York Times, the filing states. With the filing, Google for the first time released its financial results, answering the long-awaited question of the company's profitability. The company generated $961.9 million in revenue in fiscal 2003 and posted $105.6 million in net profit. That marked the third consequitive year of profits for the Web's most popular search engine.

News source: C|Net

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