Search Engine Google Files IPO Plan

Rhett Pardon
SAN FRANCISCO – When Google Inc. filed to go public on Thursday, it revealed a dazzling array of information to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The once-secretive company’s financials show that it plans to raise as much as $2.7 billion in an initial public offering. The filing, which would immediately rank it among the 15 largest IPOs in U.S. history, didn't specify a price per share.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company posted a profit of $105.6 million in the year ended Dec. 31, up from $99.7 million a year earlier, according to the SEC. It had revenue of $961.9 million in the recent year, up from $347.8 million in the year-earlier period.

The search engine firm has been profitable since 2001, when it posted net income of $7 million on revenue of $86.4 million.

The filing says that Google had 1,907 employees, consisting of 596 in research and development, 961 in sales and marketing and 350 in general and administrative, as of March 31.

According to the filing, CEO Eric Schmidt made $250,000 in salary and got a $301,556 bonus last year, plus additional compensation of $2,894.

Co-founders Sergey Brin, now president of technology, and Larry Page, now president of products, both received salaries of $150,000 and bonuses of $206,556.

The filing also included an “Owner’s Manual” for shareholders that emphasized that Google should retain its entrepreneurial spirit.

“Google is not a conventional company,” the “Owner’s Manual” said. “We do not intend to become one. Throughout Google's evolution as a privately held company, we have managed Google differently. We have also emphasized an atmosphere of creativity and challenge, which has helped us provide unbiased, accurate and free access to information for those who rely on us around the world.

“Now the time has come for the company to move to public ownership. This change will bring important benefits for our employees, for our present and future shareholders, for our customers, and most of all for Google users.”

Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley will be the IPO’s lead underwriters, and unlike a traditional IPO, Google plans to sell the shares in the coming months through an auction conducted by its underwriters on the company's behalf, in an effort to make the shares more widely available.