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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 23:19 GMT 00:19 UK
Google auction begins on Friday

Google has confirmed that an auction of its shares, which will precede the firm's eagerly awaited flotation, will begin on Friday.

The web's most popular search engine will issue 25.7m shares to investors beginning at 9am US EDT (1300 GMT).

Google said it expected to announce the initial pricing range of its shares during the week starting 16 August.

Analysts estimate that the firm could be priced at between $108 and $135 a share, valuing it at $36bn (19bn).

Google is using a complicated auction process to sell its shares to investors, in an effort to give the widest cross spectrum of people access to its stock.

Google will take bids from investors who must outline how many shares they want to buy and at what price.

Registration for bidding during the auction closed on Thursday.

The BBC's Tanya Beckett
"If all goes well shares will start to trade this autumn"


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