Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive: Groupon’s IPO Road Show Set for Next Week

According to multiple sources close to the situation, Groupon plans to conduct its road show for investors next week, starting either on Monday or Tuesday.

While the decision to move forward could still change, it comes amid continued criticism of the Chicago-based daily deals company, which has had one of the rougher IPO processes for an Internet company in recent memory.

Just yesterday, the New York Times took aim at Groupon and its Wall Street bankers, retreading over the same list of issues, including controversial accounting, a too-large payout to its founders and issues around its marketing costs.

In addition, the social buying service has had some management turnover, with two COOs departing.

Lastly, it has amended its S-1 filing several times, for a variety of reasons, including an email to employees by its CEO Andrew Mason that struck regulatory agencies as a bit blabby.

That said, the initiation of the road show — where company execs will pitch its business to possible shareholders — might be an indication that Groupon’s results have improved in its recent quarter.

In the last quarter, the company lost $102.7 million on revenue of $878 million.

Also of concern is the stock market itself. Groupon, like several Web IPO candidates, had delayed its offering due to turbulent conditions.

Now, sources said, the company will go public on the Nasdaq exchange soon after the road show is complete and after pricing by its bankers.

That valuation will also be under scrutiny. Some had previously estimated that Groupon would have an IPO of up to $25 billion. Now it could be half that, sources said.

Well, we will presumably soon see, as Groupon plans to proceed.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald