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Goldman staff to receive $360,000payouts

GOLDMAN SACHS' 13,000 staff are to be given shares worth on average $360,000, when the firm goes public in May with a price tag of up to $23.4bn, according to figures released by the Wall Street investment bank yesterday.

The value of the shares being given to the firm's 221 partners in exchange for their existing holdings works out at $52m on average, although the figure hides a wide disparity in holdings, with those of some individuals likely to be in the hundreds of millions.

The figures are included in the official filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which vets all public offerings.

One of the biggest surprises is the level of basic salary of the top five partners of the firm, which was revealed for the first time yesterday as a mere $600,000, although the figure does not include their substantial bonus payments.

The stock sale should be worth up to $3.45bn (pounds 2.1bn) and account for as much as 14.7 per cent of the company. That will make it the second- largest initial public offering (IPO) in New York this decade, second to the $4.4bn public offering in Conoco last October.

The sale will mark the 130-year-old firm's second attempt at going public. Plans for an earlier share sale were abruptly shelved in September following turmoil in the financial markets and a sharp slump in profits.

In the SEC filing, Goldman said it planned to sell as many as 69 million shares at $40 to $50 each. That would value the bank at $23.4bn, about the same as JP Morgan. About 42 million shares will be sold by Goldman itself.