Report: Google Picks IPO Underwriters

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Google has chosen investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to underwrite its anticipated stock offering, which would take place in April, according to news reports.


Bloomberg reported Monday that Google planned to file for the IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this month. The stock sale would offer about one-third of the company for an estimated $4 billion, making it the largest IPO on Wall Street in nearly two years, Bloomberg said.


Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would lead a group of underwriters that includes Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, J.P. Morgan Chase, Thomas Weisel Partners and WR Hambrecht, Bloomberg said.


Google declined comment on reports about its IPO plans.


Initial reports gauged the company's valuation under a public offering as high as $20 billion, far above the $12 billion market value of the company under terms of the reported deal. Analysts estimate Google brought in about $1 billion of revenue in 2003 and $300 million in net income.


As a publicly traded company, Google would have more resources to battle heavyweights Microsoft and Yahoo for dominance in the search sector. Yahoo plans to replace Google with its Inktomi search technology in a few months, according to The Wall Street Journal.


Brian Morrissey covers search marketing for DM News.com. To keep up with the latest search marketing news subscribe to our free e-mail weekly newsletter Search Engine Marketing by visiting www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/newslettersub.cgi .


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