Thok has a thread going here about Google's
initial stock offering to the public.
At one time, the Google IPO was all the rage among giddy traders and investors large and small who were ready to pounce and feed our greed.
Not any more -- and that includes little ol' me.
The reticence began creeping upwards when the news became something more than your average investment scuttlebutt. As a matter of fact the butt got much bigger and much less finer than J-Lo's. And then the whole process revealed by Google to sell shares, the Dutch auction (Google that
and you'll get a better description than I can provide) left me cold.
A lot of potential investors (little guys like me) are still in the dark about how to get an ID number so they can bid on an offering already overpriced at $108 to $135.
That's roughly seven times what IPOs usually price for. And that alone took me from someone who would have bought maybe a hundred shares to one who would buy ten.
But wait, there's more.
Google may have illegally issued shares that could be worth as much as $3.1 billion. The company sold 23.2 million shares to more than 1,000 current and former employees and consultants, and it also offered an additional 5.6 million stock options to 300 very special friends.
While the transactions took place between September 2001 and June 2004, they weren't registered. Now the company is saying it will pay close to $26 million, including interest, to buy back the shares and the options, which could result in a few lawsuits if some of those people choose not to take the money.
And that's not all. Now it appears Google may have broken federal securities laws (and the securities laws of 18 states and the District of Columbia) by failing to register the stock and options or even exempt them from registration.
But hold on, there's still more.
The IPO is probably going to be delayed due to problems registering institutional investors.
This is turning out to be more of a "Dutch oven" than a "Dutch auction."
I'm staying away.