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Google founders sitting on $3 billion stakes

The nearly 16 percent stakes in Google Inc. owned by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are expected to each be worth more than $3 billion when the company completes its initial public offering of stock. The company detailed the holdings in a filing Friday with the SEC.
Google co-founders Larry Page, left, and Sergey Brin each have an almost 16 percent stake in the company.Ben Margot / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin each own nearly 16 percent of the Internet search engine leader that they launched nearly six years ago — stakes expected be worth at least $3 billion apiece after the company’s initial public offering of stock.

Page owns 15.7 percent of Google’s outstanding shares, and Brin holds a 15.6 percent stake, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed Friday.

It marked the first time that Google has quantified the stakes held by its insiders. The Mountain View-based company didn’t provide a detailed breakdown when it first filed its IPO papers three weeks ago.

Industry analysts expect Google’s initial market value to range from $20 billion to $30 billion. Based on those estimates, Page, 31, and Brin, 30, each will be worth somewhere between $3 billion and $4.7 billion after the IPO.

Just three months ago, Forbes magazine’s annual survey of the world’s richest people estimated that Page and Brin were each worth $1 billion. The escalating wealth of the former Stanford University graduate students reflects the steady growth of Google, which parlayed its popularity into a $64 million profit during the first quarter.

Google still hasn’t set a projected price for its hotly anticipated IPO, which is expected to occur in the late summer or early autumn. The company plans to determine the price through an auction open to all bidders who arrange to participate through Google’s investment bankers, Morgan Stanley & Co. and Credit Suisse First Boston.

The next biggest winners in Google’s IPO figure to be two Silicon Valley venture capital firms — Sequoia Capital and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers — that invested a total of $25 million in the company five years ago. The two firms each hold a 9.7 percent stake potentially worth $2 billion to $3 billion, based on analyst estimates.

Other Google insiders in line for a major windfall include the company’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, with a 6 percent stake; board member K. Ram Shriram, with a 2.2 percent stake; and the company’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and field operations, Omid Kordestani, with a 1.9 percent stake.