Securities and Exchange Commission
IPO registration effective late Wednesday, clearing the way for the Net search-engine giant's pricing.
The move means that Google shares should start trading Thursday on the
Nasdaq Stock Market
The pricing will come at the end of a most eventful period for the closely watched deal. Google had asked the SEC to declare the IPO effective Tuesday in hopes that Nasdaq trading could begin Wednesday. But the agency, without citing any reason, took no action on the request.
Earlier Wednesday, the company dramatically scaled back the IPO, slashing its expected price range by around 25% and reducing the number of shares offered by selling shareholders.
The move seemed to bolster the case made by Google critics, who questioned everything ranging from the initial pricing range to its decision to run the IPO through an unusual Dutch auction arrangement. The repricing suggested that demand for the IPO was below the company's expectations, and that the unusual distribution system only complicated efforts to sell it.
Google now says it and its investors expect to reap around $1.9 billion by selling 20 million shares at around $85-$95 apiece.
Wednesday's action also reflects the brutal market for technology stocks. Since Google registered the offering with the SEC in late April, the Nasdaq Composite is down close to 10%, and a handful of IPOs have been delayed or withdrawn. Since the end of June, shares in Google's most direct rivals --
-- have dropped between 15% and 30%.
Even so, tech stocks staged a solid rally Wednesday, with the Nasdaq rising 2% as many investor favorites bounced back from weeks of steady selling. The rise may in part reflect relief related to the end of Google IPO hand-wringing, though the stock will still be under the microscope when trading opens Thursday.
At the time of publication, Mannes had no positions in stocks mentioned, but he has placed a bid in the Google IPO for the purpose of reporting on the auction process.
has waived the provision of its Investment Policy with respect to Mannes' ownership of the stock solely for the purpose of writing stories on Google's IPO. If Mannes' bid is accepted, he has agreed to sell his shares as soon as possible following his brokerage firm's 30-day "no-flipping" window for initial public offerings. As the situation warrants, he will be reimbursed by
for any losses, or donate any gains to a charity to be named later.