Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin each plan to sell 7.2 million shares of the search engine operator over the next year and a half, according to a Friday night filing at the
Securities and Exchange Commission
If Google's shares stay at their current levels -- and there is much debate as to whether they will -- Page and Brin will reap $1.2 billion apiece from their stock sales.
Additionally, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is planning to sell 2.2 million shares in the company, worth around $373 million.
Google's stock, which went public in August at $85 a share, closed at $169.40 Friday, up $1.86.
"These prearranged stock trading plans were adopted in order to allow Larry, Sergey and Eric to sell a portion of their Google stock over time as part of their respective long-term strategies for individual asset diversification and liquidity," the company said.
The three men currently hold a total of 90.5 million shares of Google's Class B stock representing 33% of the company's shares and about 47.5% of voting power at the company. Assuming the sales are conducted as planned, they will end up with 73.9 million shares representing 27% of the company's stock and 40.4% of its voting power, according to the filing.
In light of a major expiration in November of a lockup on sales by Google insiders,
investors have been wondering about the extent to which an increase in Google's freely tradeable shares will affect Google's share price.
Brin and Page each sold more than 480,000 shares in Google's IPO -- sales worth $41 million to each of them.