The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Google mulls public offer early next year

New York, Oct. 24 (AFP): Google is considering holding a massive online auction of shares early next year in an initial public offering (IPO) that investment bankers predict could value the internet search engine company at 15-25 billion dollars, newspapers reported on Friday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company contacted more than a dozen investment banks earlier this month about possibly selling shares to the public, people familiar with the talks said.

Google executives trimmed the list to about half a dozen and spent two days last week interviewing representatives of those companies, sources added.

People familiar with the talks said investment bankers had estimated Google's value at $15-25 billion on a par with Inc and slightly less than rival search directory Yahoo Inc. But some of the basic questions about a potential IPO remain unanswered, including the timing of the offering, which banks will be involved, how many shares will be offered, and even the method for distributing shares, Wall Street Journal said.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times (FT) said the IPO could be held early next year, in the form of an online auction. That procedure would be designed to prevent a recurrence of the sort of financial scandals that have engulfed Wall Street since the collapse of the dotcom bubble, a person close to the company said.

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