Google's market cap is around $120bn. The company's share price remains on the up. And, as Business Week magazine says, Google's IPO prospectus contained the following 'throwaway' comment: 'We would fund projects that have a 10% chance of earning a billion dollars....Don't be surprised if we place smaller bets in areas that seem very speculative or even strange'. No wonder investment bankers and venture capitalists are beating down the company's California corporate HQ door, trying their hardest to flag up potential deals. But, so far, Google hasn't bitten.
The big players, like CSFB and Morgan Stanley, are said to have tried to interest Google in deals, and the company is also now used to niche investment banks like Allen & Co and venture capital firms beating on its doors. Many VCs are, quite naturally, looking to Google as their exit strategy for their start-ups. The investment banks are trying to interest the company in the bigger deals. But the largest Google transaction to date is the 2003 $102m purchase of Applied Semantics, an online ad start up business. Google did look at Skype Technologies, the web-phone company earlier this year, but baulked at the $2.6bn asking price. eBay eventually did the deal.
But, although M&A might not be high on Google's agenda at the moment, that won't stop the bankers and venture capitalists continuing to flock to California, cap in hand. Imagine the bonuses for the M&A team that finally cracks the Google account!