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Google's Eric Schmidt sets plan to sell 42% of shares that may fetch $2.3B

Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt plans to sell roughly 42 per cent of his stake in the Internet search company over the coming year.

Schmidt will sell 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock through a pre-decided stock trading plan, Google said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Google shares rose 1.5 per cent to $785.37 at the close in New York, leaving them up 11 per cent this year.

This is part of Schmidt's plan for "individual asset diversification and liquidity," Google said, and allows Schmidt to spread trades out over a period of one year to reduce the market impact.

"This is a routine diversification of assets and Eric remains completely committed to Google," Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman for Google, told Bloomberg in an e-mail response.

Schmidt, who served as Google's Chief Executive until 2011, currently owns roughly 7.6 million shares of Class A and Class B common stock. The shares represent 2.3 per cent of Google's outstanding stock and roughly 8.2 per cent of the voting power of Google's stock, Reuters reported.

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