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Friday, November 4, 2011

Groupon IPO may top price, It's Here Exclusive.

Groupon. They’re so wacky they make fun of Buddhists, stage mock tiffs with a Van Halen-lovin’ shut-in named Michael, and turn down $6 billion checks from Google

And now, the discount-of-the-day company has started down the road to its IPO riches.
Groupon just filed its long-anticipated S-1 with the SEC, the first formal notice that Groupon expects to launch as a publicly traded company very soon.
Groupon, the world’s largest collective-buying platform, has raised a hefty $700 million in its IPO, giving it a valuation of nearly $13 billion
The company started in November 2008 as part of The Point, an online community launched in 2007. Groupon features daily deals for various restaurants, spas and other businesses in over 175 North American markets and 45 countries worldwide. These offers are available to the company’s impressive +140 million strong subscriber base.
Daily deals pioneer Groupon priced its initial public offering late Thursday at $20 per share.
That's above its expected range of $16 to $18, indicating investors are excited to snap up the company's shares.


The price gives based Groupon Inc. a market value of $12.7 billion. That makes Groupon's IPO the second largest by an Internet company behind only that of Google Inc. in 2004.
In its filing, Groupon didn’t disclose how much money it expects to raise from its IPO. Our Journal colleagues previously reported Groupon could seek to raise as much as close to $1 billion at a valuation of about $20 billion. (Don’t be thrown by the $750 million number on Groupon’s filing. That’s just a placeholder number used to calculate filing fees.)
The investor prospectus does grace the public with our first in-depth look at Groupon’s finances and business details. Here are a few Groupon nuggets hot off the presses.
. As reported in the company’s IPO filing, its strategy going forward is to: 1) grow the subscriber base, 2) grow the number of merchants and 3) increase the number and variety of products through innovation. This planned expansion is the need for additional capital and why the company is floating its shares to the public
"It is many multiple times subscribed," said Scott Sweet of research firm IPO Boutique. "There is a strong likelihood that Groupon will price above the prevailing $16 to $18 range."