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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Google share sale to raise $3.3bn
Google's headquarters
Some 9% of Google's shares will be sold off in the IPO
Google, the world's most used internet search engine, has said its much anticipated initial public offering could raise as much as $3.3bn (1.8bn).

This would give the California-based firm an initial market value of as much as $36.25bn (19.7bn).

No date has been set for the share sale but analysts expect it to be in August.

Google plans to sell 14.1 million shares itself, with another 10.5 million to be sold by existing shareholders.

Also on Monday, the company reported second quarter profits of $79.1m, up from $64m in the first.

This was from revenues of $700.2m, up 7.5% from $651.6m in the first quarter.

Auction

The 24.6 million shares being sold in the initial public offering - which represent 9% of the company's total shares - will range in price from $108 to $135, according to an amended prospectus Google filed with the US Securities & Exchange Commission.

Google is to float on the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange in New York under the ticker symbol 'GOOG'.

It first announced the IPO in April, with the shares to be issued through a public auction handled by 30 brokerage houses led by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Google was launched from a Californian garage on 7 September 1998 by Stanford University post-graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Today the search engine gets 200 million queries a day and is based in a hi-tech office in Mountain View, California.

Image dented

Details of the share sale came on the day Google suffered an attack from the MyDoom virus, which flooded its search engine with automated searches, slowing its service for other users.

Last week, Google's image received another kind of dent when an ex-employee filed a legal case alleging age discrimination.

The complainant, Brian Reid, 54, alleges he was sacked as operations director because he didn't fit into the company's culture of "youth and energy".

Google denied the allegations and said it would defend them. It had no comment on why Mr Reid lost his job.

The suit said just 2% of Google's 1,900 workers were aged 40 or older.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Ben Morris
"If (Google's) unusual route to the market is a success, other companies might follow the same route"



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