Date
17 July 2018
Groupon, which is facing some challenges now despite being a pioneer in the online daily deals marketplace, is reported to be scouting for a buyer. Photo: Bloomberg
Groupon, which is facing some challenges now despite being a pioneer in the online daily deals marketplace, is reported to be scouting for a buyer. Photo: Bloomberg

Groupon said to seek a buyer; Alibaba seen potential suitor

Daily-deals website Groupon is looking for a buyer after operating as an independent company for about 10 years, according to Recode. 

Executives and bankers of the Chicago-based firm have been especially aggressive last month contacting several public companies in relation to a potential deal, the tech news platform reported over the weekend, citing sources familiar with the matter.

It is unclear whether the endeavor has been successful.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which acquired about 6 percent stake in Groupon in 2016, could emerge as a potential suitor.

Another name that has been floated as a possible buyer is IAC, whose CEO Joey Levin sits on the Groupon board. 

Pioneering local online daily deals, Groupon was launched in 2008 and publicly listed in Nasdaq in 2011 amid a drive to introduce more brands and small local businesses to online consumers.

Its market capitalization was once valued at US$16 billion in 2011, when the company turned down Google’s US$6 billion offer.

But the market value has now come down to around US$2.4 billion following a slide in share price.

Groupon shares are down 14.5 percent year-to-date.

Last year, the company recorded US$2.84 billion in revenue, a 5.6 percent year-on-year decline and marking the weakest level since 2013.

The company, however, posted annual operating profit for the first time since 2014.

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