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Groupon engaged in IPO talks

by Jorge Hernandez on January 14, 2011

Online marketing site Groupon is gearing up to make an initial public offering (IPO), as sources close to the situation say that investors have been making proposals over the last week. Experts believe the company will go public later this year, a move which could value the company at almost 15 million, Bloomberg reports.

The IPO discussion comes just weeks after the Chicago-based website announced that it has raised around $950 million. They initially said that the massive fund increase was intended to allow investors to cash out their shares. The increased funding put the company's value at around 4.5 billion, a figure that is expected to increase significantly if Groupon goes public.

A public offer would increase the number of options available to Groupon significantly. Perhaps most importantly, the website would be able to increase their international scope.

The company also turned heads late last year when it halted takover efforts from Google, who offered Groupon a $6 billion buyout. The merger appeared to be close to happening, but fell apart when CEO Andrew Mason became concerned over the effect that a takeover would have on his company, according to the news source.

Groupon offers consumers daily discounts of up to 90 percent on a number of different products and services. Financial analysts say that the move to go public is partly inspired by the fact that the company hsa been feeling growing pressure from comptitors such as Amazon and LivingSocial, both of whom have begun to provide a similar service.

Groupon isn't the only private company expected to go public later this year. Though it has not commented on the issue, Facebook recently raised 500 million in an investment from Goldman Sachs, and is expected to make a public offer in the near future.

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