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Google plans to raise $4.185bn in new capital by offering 14.2m new shares, boosting its short term cash pile by around 75 per cent.

In addition to working capital, Google cites "possible acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies or other assets" as reasons for the share issue in a SEC-1 filing. On Monday the company said it might need to raise cash for buying technology licenses or acquisitions.

Wild speculation that Google may buy Skype or launch its own VoIP service, or even launched its own network, has surfaced regularly since the company's IPO last year. But the answer may be more prosaic. Both eBay and Yahoo! have earmarked significant cash for moves into India and China recently, with Yahoo! spending $1bn for a stake in the upside-down-o-vision ecommerce site Alibaba.com

"I wouldn't expect to see us do anything big anytime soon," CFO George Reyes said last week. ®

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