Google chairman Eric Schmidt selling $2.4bn in shares

GOOGLE chairman Eric Schmidt plans to sell 3.2 million “A” shares worth $US2.5 billion ($2.44 billion) over the next year, Google says in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Google chairman Eric Schmidt to sell $2.4bn in shares

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 on Friday to a new all-time record of $US785.37, putting the value of the shares Schmidt will sell at $2.51 billion.

In its September 2012 billionaires list – when Google shares crossed the $US700 line for the first time – Forbes ranked Schmidt 138th in the world, with his fortune worth $US7.5 billion.