Could Groupon be looking for a buyer ???

Some big-time shopper could be on the verge of landing a bargain: digital coupon dealer Groupon, which is reportedly seeking a buyer. Shares in the Chicago-headquartered company were up...

Some big-time shopper could be on the verge of landing a bargain: digital coupon dealer Groupon, which is reportedly seeking a buyer.

Shares in the Chicago-headquartered company were up 10 percent in early trading Monday on a report that Groupon and its bankers were shopping the company around.

The company stepped up its efforts over the past month to find potential suitors, according to a report in Recode. Groupon, founded in 2008, has been open to a sale for some time, but has increased an initiative to sell recently, persons close to the situation told Recode.

Groupon declined to comment on the report.

Even with the share bump, Groupon (GRPN) stock is down 9 percent so far this year. Groupon’s market cap has plummeted since it was valued at nearly $13 billion when it went public in 2011. Before its IPO, Groupon reportedly spurned a $6 billion offer from Google. Its current market cap: $2.6 billion.

Groupon stock was up 5 percent to $4.58 in Monday mid-morning trading.

Possible buyers posited by Recode: Alibaba, which acquired nearly a 6 percent stake in Groupon two years ago, and IAC, a media company led by billionaire media mogul Barry Diller, whose CEO Joey Levin is a member of Groupon’s board.

The company, which has deals with concert promoter Live Nation and Major League Baseball, has sold nearly 1.5 billion Groupons, CEO Rich Williams said in May when discussing the online coupon dealer’s first-quarter financials.

“We are focused on establishing an indispensable marketplace that customers will use again and again,” he said. “That’s at the core of being a daily habit in local commerce and we believe we are well on the way.”

Now the question is whether Groupon will continue on its way as an independent company or within a larger player’s portfolio.

Source: Mike Snider, USA TODAY

Photo Credit:  Market Exclusive

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

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