The news tonight is that Google has selected Morgan Stanley and CSFB to co-manage its imminent IPO. Now, the selection hasn’t been publicly announced, per se. Instead, the WSJ tipped the news as follows:
Internet-search pioneer Google Inc. has tapped Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley to lead an eagerly anticipated initial public offering that likely will be announced this week, according to people familiar with the situation. [Emphasis added]
Oh, those people again: “People familiar with the situation”. Who are they? Well, it sure wasn’t the official spokespeople. The WSJ was able to collect an astounding number of “no comment” comments, considering they ran this story on a Sunday:
A spokeswoman for Google, Mountain View, Calif., declined to comment. Representatives of CSFB, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Goldman, J.P. Morgan and Lehman declined to comment.
“People familiar with the situation” are almost always, at least when it comes to deal-making, investment bankers. Anyone who has done a deal, or, better yet, read the canonical “Barbarians at the Gate”, knows that the leakiest people involved in any transaction are the i-bankers — put ’em in a bar with a RIMM email device and they’re like a one-man PR band.