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Google has set the pricing for its public flotation. Trading under the stock-ticker GOOG, the company will make 24.6 million shares available for between $108 and $135 a share, of which $14m represents new equity. This represents nine per cent of the company, a stake worth $2.6bn and $3.32bn, which values the company at a minimum of $24bn and as much as $36.25bn.

The flotation is designed to cede as little control as possible to the public, with voting stock confined to Class A shares. That decision has been hailed - by friends of the company in the technology press - as a method of keeping control with the founders, but condemned as a recipe for cronyism, by the business press. The Observer advised them to start from scratch.

However, unlike dotcom era IPOs, Google is minting it in. The company announced that gross revenue for the last quarter was $700.2m, up from $656.1m in the preceding quarter. Declared revenues were up too, to $79.1m. However, the New York Times has pointed out that the profits are heavily camouflaged by stock options; and true profits are much higher. ®

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