Google (GOOG) Stock Split Ensures Founders Retain Controlling Stake

Updated on

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has now finally announced that it will split its stock on April 2nd. The move comes three years after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin initiated talks to come up with a plan that ensures them maximum control over the internet firm.

Split to ensure founders remain in control

Page and Brin own Google’s Class B stock, which has 10 times the voting power compared to Class A share. Despite owing fewer than 15% of the issued stock, the Google founders control 56% of the shareholder votes. However, in the past decade, with new Class A shares being issued to reward employees and finance acquisitions, the voting power of the founders has been shrinking.

To address the concerns, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has come up with a new class “C” stock with no voting rights. Splitting the stock or creating a new class of shares without voting rights will help the internet giant keep the controlling stake of the founders stable, and at the same time keep its nearly 44,000 workers satisfied by offering them shares.

The move no doubt will help the founders to retain control over the company, which they founded in a rented garage more than 15 years ago. The stock split will also lower the concerns that the founder’s stake in the company might be endangered due to the issue of additional shares to employees and for capital for gobbling up start-ups.

Google to trade under two tickers

Previously, the plans of splitting the stock received huge criticism from the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shareholders, who believed that the move will be unfair to all the shareholders except for Page and Brin. To go forward with the plans of the stock split, Google settled a shareholders lawsuit.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s trading price on the Nasdaq Stock Market would certainly be lowered due to the stock split as investors account for a big increase in shares. The internet company plans to offer about 277 million Class C stock based on the number of Class A shares issued as of late last year. In the beginning, value of the current stock will be divided equally between the two classes of shares. After that, both classes will trade separately on the exchange; Class C shares will trade under the “GOOG” ticker symbol while Class A will trade under a new ticker “GOOGL.”

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