Another (this is the third in two days) big NYT piece on Google, this one is from Saul Hansell, with great artwork (see left). Saul explores the debate between staying private and going public. And it had this tidbit, which I am embarassed to say I did not know:
Google has hardly been lazy working to manage the timing of an eventual offering. Early on, it split itself into two companies, Google Inc. and Google Technologies, so that each would have fewer than 500 employees, according to a person who had been close to Google. That was important because the S.E.C. requires companies with 500 shareholders and assets greater than $10 million to file financial statements and most of the other information they would have to disclose in a public share offering.
Early in 2003, the two companies were merged, in effect setting the date of April 29, 2004, as the deadline for Google to make the required disclosure. (The law requires a public filing 120 days after the close of a company’s fiscal year, in this case April 29.)
I wondered how they got away with having so many shareholders for so long. Dooh!