Groupon to go public

June 3, 2011 at 1:53 PM
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CHICAGO, June 3 (UPI) -- Groupon Inc. in Chicago said it is time to take the company public, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing says.

Groupon, at just 3 years old, said it expected to raise $750 million, perhaps a modest claim, given some estimates the company is worth up to $20 billion, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Groupon, which sets up local deals for consumers, took in $645 million in revenue January through March of 2011, a sharp jump from the $713 million in sales for all of 2010.

It also lost $390 million in 2010 and $103 million January through March of this year.

Analysts say Groupon is attempting to raise its value by concentrating on building up its subscription base, rather than show profits just yet.

Senior research analyst A.B. Mendez at GreenCrest Capital Management LLC said he was concerned about copycats.

"Investors will have questions about the sustainability and defensibility of this business model, the concern being that these 400 Groupon clones will come and gradually eat away at their market share," Mendez said.

E-commerce expert Lou Kerner said Groupon was still ahead of the pack. "I think Groupon was the first company that saw this was going to be a massive market and invested heavily to capture as much of it as possible."

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