Google Inc’s first day as a public company was branded a success by many yesterday. While shares failed to reach the $135 heights anticipated over recent weeks, the IPO price of $85 per share was boosted to over $100 by the end of the day.
The stock closed on the Nasdaq at $100.33, a smidgen above its opening price, which at $100.01 was 17% above the offer price. The $85 offer price was at the bottom of the $85 to $95 range set by Google’s auction.
About 19.6 million shares were sold in the offer, raising about $1.66bn. About $1.2bn of that came from shares sold by Google. The remainder were sold by other existing shareholders, many of which are employees.
Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page became paper billionaires, each now holding stock worth about $3.2bn, and sold over $40m worth of shares each in the offering. CEO Eric Schmidt raked in over $30m and holds about $1.2bn in stock.
It is reportedly estimated that 1,000 or more Google employees became paper millionaires in the offering, though many share options are locked up for up to months after the IPO before they can be cashed in.
The company had originally estimated its share price at offering would be between $108 and $135, but had to revise the estimate earlier this week after a series of minor controversies made potential investors wary.
Google had the dubious honor of being under Securities and Exchange Commission investigation while it was still private, after the firm acknowledged that billions in shares had been issued to employees without being registered.
There was also the eleventh-hour concern last Friday that a newly published interview with Page and Brin may have violated the quiet period non-disclosure period that traditionally leads up to an IPO.