Google yesterday set a price for its upcoming IPO that could see it raising even more than its original target of $2.7bn and values the search firm at up to $36.3bn.
At the same time, Google’s dizzying progress towards the upper reaches of the stock market hit a few speed bumps.
The firm’s latest filing revealed its general counsel faces allegations by the SEC of violating securities regulations, while reports said Google’s website had been forced offline in some countries following a virus outbreak.
In its amended S-1 filing with the SEC yesterday, Google said it would offer 24.6 million shares at $108 to $135 each, possibly as soon as next month.
This would result in total proceeds of $2.7bn to $3.3bn, valuing the firm at an astonishing $29bn to $36.3bn. Net proceeds for the company would be around $1.66bn, it expects.
However, the filing emitted one small cloud over the company, revealing that David Drummond, Google’s vice president of corporate development, secretary and general counsel, had been informed by SEC staff that it intends to recommend that the SEC bring a civil injunction action him, alleging violation of federal securities laws, including the anti-fraud provisions. The action is related to Drummond’s prior employment as Chief Financial Officer of SmartForce. The filing was at pains to point out that the action did not relate to Drummond’s time at Google, and that he would be making a submission arguing against the action.
In a separate development, Google’s sites in the UK, US and France were apparently hit by an outbreak of a new variant of the Mydoom virus, which led to error messages for some users. Google was not available to comment.
Yesterday’s filing runs through the usual list of risk factors, one of the more ironic of which is the danger that the word Google could become so ubiquitous as to become synonymous with search. This would raise the prospect of the firm losing its protection for its trademark, allowing other companies to use the term, Google warns. There have been questions over Microsoft’s right to a trademark on the phrase Windows.