Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are about to offload millions of shares that will net each billions in cash.
Don't panic, dear readers, at the prospect of Google's share price (and the balance of your pension fund) diving: the pair are offloading their holdings in line with an amended stock trading plan that is designed to entrench their control of Google.
Long story short, the pair will offload two million “Class C” that carry no voting rights plus the same number of “Class B” that carry ten votes apiece. The Class B stock they sell will revert to “Class A” shares worth one vote apiece. Once the dealing's done, Brin and Page will still control 52 per cent of Google votes, down from 54.6 per cent today.
Sales will take place over a couple of years – dumping lots of stock in to the market would be too scary to contemplate – but at the current price of about US$550 a share, and eight million shares to be sold, about $4,400,000,000 is headed towards their bank accounts.
The SEC filing that reveals the plan says it's being done in the name of Brin's and Page's “long-term strategies for individual asset diversification and liquidity”.
The Reg is not a financial organ, but is willing to go out on a limb and suggest that a couple of billion bucks in the bank addresses both issues rather handily. ®