Interesting: Markoff has a source (link is CC Times, not NYT, it’s not reg required) who claims Google will not file an S-1 this week (the standard IPO prospectus) but rather will file … well…on that the story is not clear. But something. I believe the only thing they could file other than an S-1 is a Form 10, which private companies file when they surpass 500 shareholders and 10 million in assets. Markoff’s story does not say that will happen, but that’s the implication. There’s some good stuff in this short piece:
Google, the Web search company that has developed a huge popular following around the world, is expected to take a tentative first step next week toward a future public stock offering, a person close to the company said Friday. But it is likely to stop short of filing a formal registration to sell shares, he said……
At an employee meeting last month, the company’s executives stated that Google had embarked on the path toward a public offering. They did not give any information, however, about the possible timing of the effort.
Those close to the company say that Google’s top executives are under pressure to move ahead soon because of fears that it may damage employee morale if they don’t move ahead quickly to give them an opportunity to turn their shares and options into real wealth.
But from inside and outside the company, there have also been repeated rumblings that the founders of the company and its outside investors are still debating the value of an immediate public offering….
Google’s founders, however, are leery, Silicon Valley insiders say, of giving up control of their firm as well as the operational and cultural changes that a public offering might bring about.
The company has considered the possibility of two classes of stock, they say, a route that would permit the founders to retain tight control, but would also reduce the value of a public offering substantially….
This has led to differences between the company’s venture backers and founders, said a person at one of the venture firms that backs Google.
“I wouldn’t call it tensions, but there are differences,” he said. “I think our attitude is, ‘Let’s not be too cute.’ “
Also, the Times runs a Page One rundown of who will get rich in the IPO. After reading it, I felt…a bit queasy, and I don’t know why. (No, I don’t own any shares!).