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Deals of the year: North America

Best IPO

Deal size: $1.67 billion

Date: August 2004

Bookrunners: Morgan Stanley, CSFB

Record-breaking, innovative, controversial and the most talked about IPO anywhere in 2004, Google's $1.67 billion issue is an obvious choice for deal of the year.

It is the largest US internet IPO ever as well as the largest non-spin-out technology IPO. It was also the largest technology IPO of 2004 and the largest US IPO ever offered through an auction process.

Although Google was forced to lower its price range, largely because of a fall in the share price of comparables including Yahoo, it still managed to get investors to pay a PE multiple of 155, for which they bought little influence over management. And all this was achieved through an IPO process that was maligned daily in the press by institutional investors.

In the event, both the selling shareholders and investors were pleased with the deal.

Google succeeded in doing things on its own terms and avoiding an excessive 1990s-style one day "pop"; investors got shares that have since risen 115%.

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