Eric Schmidt selling 3.2 million Google shares

Eric Schmidt, Google Inc.’s chairman, intends to sell 3.2 million Class A Google shares or approximately 42 per cent stake in company, according to the a filing made last Friday with the Security and Exchange Commission.

“Under the terms of this trading plan, Eric intends to sell up to approximately 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock,” according the documents filed with the SEC by Kent Walker, senior vice-president and general counsel for Google. “If during a one year period of which this trading is effective, Google declares and pays a dividend of one share of Class C capital stock for each share of Class A common stock and Class B common stock then outstanding, then a number of shares of Class C capital stock equivalent to the number of shares of Class A common stock subsequently sold, will also be sold under the trading plan.”

The document said Schmidt intends to sell a portion of his Google stock “as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity.”

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A sell off of such a huge amount of shares in one go could cause Google stock prices to tumble, but there are indications that Schmidt intends to shelter the company from such an outcome.

“Using this trading plan, Eric can diversify his investment portfolio and can spread stock trades over a period of one year to reduce market impact,” according to the document.

According to a report from the Inquirer, the intended sale of 3.2 million Class A shares could net Schmidt as much as $2.5 billion based on the closing price of Google shares last Friday.

Schmidt, a software engineer, co-authored the Lex analysis software program for the Unix computer system. He was CEO of Novell from 1997 to 2001 and was Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011.

Recently, Schmidt was part of a private, humanitarian mission to North Korea that was headed by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to secure the release of two United States nationals held by the country.

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