As expected, on Wednesday evening Google Inc. priced its secondary offering of more than 14 million shares of common stock, at $295 a pop. The widely popular search engine company raised more than $4.18 billion, according to Reuters.
Google’s secondary offering is the largest by a U.S. high-tech company in a decade, the wire service added. It’s perhaps the largest by any company during that time; depending on who’s counting, a follow-on offering in 2000 by Goldman Sachs Group raised somewhere between $3.99 billion (according to IPOFinancial.com) and $4.51 billion (according to Dealogic).
The $295 price was $8 below the Wednesday close of $303 per share. Interestingly, the stock had climbed 6.3 percent since the company announced plans to sell the additional shares, even though they will dilute current holdings. Google’s stock dropped to $300 in pre-market trading on Thursday.
It’s not clear how Google plans to use the cash, beyond “general corporate purposes.” Bloomberg reported that the company plans to use the cash for acquisitions, product development and to protect its position from hard-charging rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. According to the Associated Press, one speculation is that Google might build a wireless network to extend the reach of its search engine.