Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive: Groupon Prices at $20 a Share; More Than 10x Oversubscribed, So It Adds 5M More Shares

Groupon has priced its public offering at $20 a share, several dollars above the expected price range of $16 to $18. That will garner $700 million for the start-up, which is only several years old, at a valuation of close to $13 billion.

The offering for the Chicago-based daily deals site — which has had a controversial IPO process — was well upwards of 10 times oversubscribed, meaning there was a lot more demand than supply of its stock.

To alleviate the difference, Groupon has apparently added five million more shares to its offering, totaling 35 million shares sold.

Groupon has endured an unusual amount of criticism over a variety of issues — including accounting treatments, executive turmoil and growth prospects. But investors did not seem to mind all the noise and clamored to get into a possibly lucrative IPO.

The relatively small float of shares — about six percent of total — and that intense interest allowed Groupon to cherry pick its new shareholders.

It will be interesting to see if, as it endured loud critics when it was private, if short sellers will pile onto the social buying company now that it is public.

Executives from Groupon, including its CEO Andrew Mason (who has seemed to have gotten a nice haircut and suit for occasion), have been hawking the company — which sells an assortment of discounted services from a variety of local merchants — to investors all over the country over the last several weeks.

The company is set to go public tomorrow under the GRPN ticker on the NASDAQ.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work