Google chairman to sell $3.1 billion of shares

PHOTO: Google chairman to sell $3.1 billion of shares

WASHINGTON - Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt plans to sell 3.2 million "A" shares, currently worth US$2.5 billion (S$3.1 billion), over the next year, Google said Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The sale amounts to 42 per cent of Schmidt's 7.6 million Class A and Class B shares in the company, a 2.3 per cent stake in the company, but 8.2 per cent of voting power.

The sale is part of a pre-arranged trading plan for Schmidt's "long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity," according to the filing.

"Using this trading plan, Eric can diversify his investment portfolio and can spread stock trades out over a period of one year to reduce market impact."

Google's share price climbed 1.5 per cent Friday to a new all-time record of US$785.37, putting the value of the shares Schmidt will sell at US$2.51 billion.

In its September 2012 billionaires list-when Google shares crossed the US$700 line for the first time- Forbes ranked Schmidt 138th in the world, with his fortune worth US$7.5 billion.