Groupon’s long-delayed IPO is back on track—at least according to Reuters, who quoted sources that “declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.” The Chicago-based company is supposedly planning to announce a roadshow for its initial public offering as early as Monday or Tuesday of next week. This comes after Groupon canceled a scheduled roadshow in September due to “stock market volatility.”
The sources put the value of the company at around $10 billion, a far cry from the $25 billion number investors were throwing around as recently as this summer. So, what happened?
A cascade of bad press, that’s what. The SEC forced the company to adjust some of its more irregular accounting practices. Two COOs, Margo Georgiadis and Rob Solomon, left the company within months of each other. Not to mention the bizarre antics of its CEO Andrew Mason, who admitted on Charlie Rose to hiring a man to walk around in a ballerina outfit—you know, just because.
Overall, enthusiasm for group coupon sites, including Groupon as well as others such as LivingSocial and Blackboard Eats, has waned as merchants have complained about cheapskate customers who never return and the big cuts of each sale taken by the sites. Still, this would be the biggest tech IPO in a long time, giving the media something to talk about until Zynga (which has had its own IPO setbacks) announces a roadshow of its own.