Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently revealed it is keeping a substantial portion of its cash outside the U.S. to facilitate the possible acquisition of overseas companies.
The size of Google’s foreign reserves was only revealed last night, even though the company made its disclosure to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late last year.
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Offshore earnings to fund acquisitions
The owner of the top web-search engine revealed in its filing that it continues to anticipate substantial use of its offshore earnings for acquisitions as its global business has expanded into other product offerings such as mobile devices. It further added: “It is reasonable to forecast that Google needs between $20 to $30 billion of foreign earnings to fund potential acquisitions of foreign targets and foreign technology rights from U.S. targets in 2013 and beyond.”
According to the Bloomberg report, the largest U.S.-based companies added $206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) said in a filing in February: “If these funds are needed for our operations in the U.S., we would be required to accrue and pay U.S. taxes to repatriate these funds. However, our intent is to permanently reinvest these funds outside of the U.S. and our current plans do not demonstrate a need to repatriate them to fund our U.S. operations.”
Google subjected to criticism
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been facing criticism for keeping the cash parked overseas, though it has been stepping up its deal activity, including the $3.2 billion purchase this year of digital thermostat maker Nest Labs.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s December filing also highlights that it recently scrapped a deal to buy a foreign company that was worth an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion.
If the sale have gone through, it would have dwarfed Google’s purchase last year of Israeli traffic and navigation company Waze.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) said it has earmarked between $2 billion and $4 billion for new data centers outside the US, such as the new facilities it’s built in Finland, Taiwan, Singapore, Belgium and Ireland — and now has a preference for owning rather than leasing the property they’re housed on.