With Google (GOOG)’s stock printing the tape at record highs, executive Chairman Eric Schmidt plans to sell roughly 42% of his stake in the search giant over the coming year, a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission revealed late Friday.
Schmidt, who owns 7.6 million shares of Google Class A and Class B common stock, or 2.3% of Google’s outstanding stock, will sell 3.2 million of those shares through a series of pre-arranged trading transactions which will be spread out so as not to affect share prices, the filing said.
At ticker’s current pps of $785, this sale would be worth about $2.5 billion, though obviously Mr. Schmidt’s actual proceeds will vary as he follows through on his divestiture plan for the year.
This isn’t the first time that Google’s executive chairman has sold shares. Last February he reduced his ownership stake in the search giant to about 2.1% from 2.8% by offloading $1.5 billion worth of stock.
Last year, Mr. Schmidt was ranked 138th in the world on Forbes’ Billionaires list with an estimated net worth of $7.5 billion. He generated most of his wealth at the Mountain View, California-based company where he served as CEO for almost 10 years before turning over the job to Larry Page in April 2011.
Schmidt is the third-largest stockholder among Google executives, behind only Page and co-founder Sergey Brin.
Shares of Google, which have been on a tear over the past six months, were down $4.11 at $781.26 in after-hours trading on Friday. During regular Nas hours the stock traded as high as $786.67 – its highest since the company’s IPO at $85/share in August 2004.