Groupon May Conduct $25 Billion IPO

    March 17, 2011

The company that supposedly turned down a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google may now plan to one-up it in another way. A new report indicates Groupon is discussing an initial public offering that could value the organization at $25 billion, even though Google’s own IPO valued it at closer to $23 billion.

We should note that $25 billion isn’t the only figure being tossed around. A wide range of totals is apparently on the table.

The original Bloomberg article stated this morning, “Groupon Inc. has held talks with banks about an initial public offering that would value the online-coupon company at as much as $25 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. . . . The two-year-old startup’s IPO may happen this year and is unlikely to assign Groupon a valuation of less than $15 billion, according to the people . . .”

That’s still impressive, though. To provide a few points of comparison: the current market caps of AOL, IAC, Netflix, and Yahoo are $2.0 billion, $2.6 billion, $11.3 billion, and $20.8 billion, respectively. So Groupon’s definitely setting its sights high (according to this rumor).

Groupon’s shown ambition in several other areas, too, in recent weeks. Consider that CEO Andrew Mason set a 2011 revenue target of more than $1 billion last month. And Groupon’s even talked to cash register makers about machines that would feature a special Groupon button.

This sort of chatter has to make competitors like Foursquare a little nervous. Of course, it’s possible that what’s good for Groupon will also prove good for other companies in the daily deals space if investors rush to support everything in sight.