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In fact if the media didn't tell us how would we know...
The real story of Google is not this snafu (there are tons of unpublicized Google snafus available for reporting), but the fact that the media's estimation of the "buzz" has shifted in the last three months. Now a story like the failure to register stock for three years is suddenly a story after all.
Unless the IPO is a dramatic success, the coverage in the media will go downhill very quickly from this point forward.
1. Google Inc. may have illegally issued more than 23 million shares of its stock to hundreds of employees and consultants,
2. offering to buy back the affected shares and outstanding stock options for a total of $25.9 million
So they're offering around 110 ct a share in this buyback offer? If somebody doesn't want to return them, I'll take 'em for $5 each ....
Google plans to sell 14.1 million shares itself, with another 10.5 million to be sold by existing shareholders.
... to raise about $3.3 billion.
google has $549 million in cash.
the unregistered shares and options total about 30 million shares. at $100/share, that's about $3 billion in potential liabilities, disregarding the effect of exercise prices on the options. (caution: i am not a PHD!)
even at $20/share liability it wipes out the cash.
at full value it wipes out the proceeds of the ipo.
google avoided investment bankers. any investment bank worth the name would have figured out something was wrong during its due diligence.
it only takes one shareholder to upset the apple cart. two to make a class action. yahoo is a shareholder. yahoo has deep pockets. yahoo has lawyers.
Or were the employees given shares that could not be eventually sold, and only given back to google for peanuts.
Its generally policy that people that work for startups, and get paid in stock options, will eventually reap the rewards, for their dedication, and long hours making the startup into a sucessfull IPO.
I can't believe they would do this. This would totally destroy employee moral, and lead to a mass exodus by the employees.
Googleguy, tell me that your employee's stock is worth more than the money it is printed on!