updated 12:55 pm EST, Sat February 18, 2012
Google's Eric Schmidt sells large stock amount
Google through an SEC filing on Friday revealed that its chairman Eric Schmidt intended to sell a large if minority portion of his stock. The plan would see him sell as much as 2.4 million of 9.1 million total shares, which at the $604.64 closing price would net slightly over $1.45 billion. The swap will leave him with about 6.7 million shares, or enough to still represent 2.1 percent of Google's entire share base and 7.3 percent of the voting power.
The decision to sell was explained as part of a long-term plan by Schmidt to guarantee "individual asset diversification and liquidity," or to both reduce his dependence on Google stock and give him more tangible funds. Where any new investments were going wasn't mentioned in the filing, although Schmidt will have to disclose his trading through his nature as an executive.
A sale wouldn't arrive at peak performance of the stock, but it would come at a relatively strong point and before possible tumult in Google's value. It has received approval for buying Motorola in key countries, but has yet to formally close the deal and start reflecting this in its structure. Schmidt might also benefit from selling before the post-seasonal slump that affects most companies, even though it's not as vulnerable to the holiday slump as rivals in the mobile world.
Neither Google nor Schmidt has formally commented on the share change. [via Wall Street Journal]