One of the largest buyers in Google’s unorthodox stock auction last month appears to have been Fidelity Investments, the world’s largest mutual fund manager.In a filing with federal regulators Friday, the Boston company said that it holds 5.21 million of Google’s Class A shares. Google, the Mountain View Internet search company, sold 19.6 million shares for $85 each during its initial public offering of stock Aug. 18.
Including shares that have come on the market since the IPO, Fidelity owns about 16 percent of Google’s Class A stock and 1.9 percent of all the company’s outstanding shares.
About 1.8 million of the shares are owned by Fidelity’s Growth Company Fund, which holds stock in other technology notables Microsoft, Network Appliance, Yahoo, Intel and Red Hat. The Google shares — worth $193 million as of Friday — represent less than 1 percent of the fund’s assets. By contrast, the fund owns nearly 25 million shares of Pfizer, its top holding.
Google used an uncommon Dutch auction to distribute its IPO shares to investors. Instead of allowing its underwriters to dole out shares to favored clients, as is customary during IPOs, Google made its shares available to all investors, from individuals to institutions such as mutual funds.
Demand for the IPO was lukewarm, however, and Google was forced to lower the proposed bidding range for shares in the final days before the IPO.
Fidelity’s investment in Google pales in comparison to its investment in competitor Yahoo. As of June 30, Fidelity owned 107.3 million shares of Sunnyvale-based Yahoo, or just under 8 percent of its outstanding shares.