Comments: Google IPO price

I think that most of what Google is doing in the IPO seems quite correct and against Wall St. standard procedures in a way. The high price-per-share is a good idea, the no-special-friends, and other minor issues. Well done on that.

However, the IPO accounts for only about 10% of the company. This is such a low free float that on the dotcom history has been pointed as one of the main reasons for the bubble in the past years: everybody extrapolates the value of the 10% public shares available on the market to the 100% of the company. "The 10% is valued at 3.6 billion, so the company market cap is 36 billion." Right? Well, depends. 10% of Google may be a so little chunk for investors that there probably will be a large demand -- so the price will go up and up, and in the end the 10% will be valued very high even if that doesn't represent the other 90% of the company.

We have been seeing this on the 1990s and util 2001 on so many dotcoms. Some of them had only 5% free float or less. Some of them were trading a volume of 30 or 40% of the total free float... Ħevery day!

So, basically, you can't compare a 10% free-float like Google with companies like Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft or Apple who have a 70%, 80% or 95% free float.

I think this is an important issue to be considered in this IPO.

Posted by Alvy at July 27, 2004 06:11 AM