Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced on January 30 that it will split its stock by issuing a new class of shares. The new Class-C shares will have no voting rights. That’s because the split has been designed so that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin can retain control of the search engine giant despite their increasingly small ownership.
Google will be more affordable to small investors
Investors have expressed concerns that the procedure will prove more beneficial to Page and Brin than the mainstream shareholders. To ensure that no shareholder resistance takes place to disrupt the stock splitting, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) settled a shareholder lawsuit, where the settlement amount may go up to $7.5 billion. It’s interesting that Google founders own less than 15% of the company’s stock, but they have 56% of voting rights. That’s because Page and Brin’s holdings are mostly in Class-B shares, which have 10 times more voting rights than the Class-A shares available to common shareholders.
On April 2, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shareholders will receive one new Class-C share for every Class-A or Class-B share they own. S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement today that the Class-C shares will become the main equity trading line for the company. The split will reduce the stock price from the current level of more than $1,130 per share. That will make Google ownership more affordable to smaller investors.
Google to cause a temporary blip in S&P
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) founders said in a letter to investors that the routine dilution of the stock from stock-based acquisitions and equity-based employee compensation would undermine the stock’s dual-class structure. So, the non-voting Class-C shares will be available for corporate purposes like stock-based employee compensation.
The S&P said that the Class-C shares will be added to the S&P 500 and S&P 100, and the existing Class-A stock will also trade temporarily. So, there will be 101 members in the S&P 100 and 501 members in the S&P 500 for a few months. Both classes of shares will be valued as separate entities. The Class-A shares will trader under the ticker “GOOGL” while Class-C shares will be quoted under “GOOG.”
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares jumped 1.02% in pre-market trading Tuesday to $1,145.