NEW YORK (
) -- Groupon is set to sell shares at a $12 billion valuation, half of the $25 billion it initially sought in June, according to sources of the
New York Times
. It also is a reversal of Groupon's September decision to wait out market volatility and further show its earnings abilities to investors.
The Chicago-based online deals site is looking to sell less than the 10% of shares it initially sought to bring to the public - raising as little as $500 million, according to reports. It's also a similar amount to
, which after nearly doubling on its stock market debut, is down 7.5% since.
At $12 billion Groupon is seeking a similar 38 times revenue valuation as Linkedin, but it's roughly double the 20 times sales valuation Zynga is seeking and the 17 times sales level
in its June IPO.
The sales multiple also gives Groupon only double the valuation a $6 billion bid that
offered at the end of 2010.
Groupon's losses have continued this year following accounting concerns by the
Securities and Exchanges Commission
that forced it to recalculate 2010 revenue and net earnings. As a result, the company has lost $223 million in the first 6 months of 2011 and its 2010 sales were marked down by more than half to $313 million, according to recent filings.
Meanwhile, the company appears to be pushing ahead because of a growing subscriber base and thawing IPO markets. In its recent filings, Groupon showed that subscribers have more than doubled to 115 million this year, and its revenue in 2011 has skyrocketed to $688 million in the first 6 months of 2011.
Chief Executive Andrew D. Mason owns nearly 23 million shares of Class A stock, just under 8% of total shares, while co-founder Eric Leftkofsky owns more than 20% of the company's near 300 million shares.
, a broadband wireless network infrastructure provider sold just over 7 million shares at $15 apiece. In the weeks leading to its first day of trading, Ubiquiti cut its price expectations from over $20 a share to a range to $15 to $17. It was the first IPO since Sep. 1 when real estate investment trust
American Realty Capital
sold just over 5.5 million shares for $12.50 a share.
is pushing ahead with its $1 billion listing, this time on the Nasdaq.
According to quarterly data from
, Global IPO activity has totaled $142.5 billion so far in 2011, down 8% from last year's equivalent total.
When Groupon sells shares in its IPO,
will be its lead underwriters.
Yahoo's previously announced "strategic review" yesterday resulted in a flurry of conflicting reports about how and if the company will sell itself.
On Wednesday afternoon
The Wall Street Journal
Silver Lake Partners
Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board
were looking to make a group bid for the online search and display giant.
then reported that
chief executive said at an All Things Digital conference in Hong Kong that the company isn't necessarily looking to sell itself in its strategic review. According to Bloomberg Yang said, "The intent going in is not to put ourselves up for sale. The intent is to look at all options. There's plenty of options for the board, and plenty of options for our shareholders to realize value."
Yang's statement cooled a litany of potential sale and spin rumors. Yahoo's been reportedly looking to a spin its Asian assets that include a 40% stake in Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba and a 35% stake in Yahoo Japan, sell itself outright, undergo a management buyout, or as recently as yesterday--take itself private in an LBO with private equity firms, company founders or Asian partners. Yang's statement also may give credence to rumors that, opposite of selling, Yahoo may look to acquire
double down on its display revenue push.
reported that potential
bidders have been asked to work in confidentiality that would preclude them from discussing joint bids, citing several people close to the situation.
The report puts previous rumors of joint bids in doubt and makes other Microsoft or Alibaba takeovers seem more likely. A strategic takeover is one of Yahoo's strategic alternatives
favored by analysts.
and Allen & Co. informed interested parties this week of a "no cross talk" provision, part of a non-disclosure agreement they must sign to get a look at Yahoo!'s financial data, the sources told
According to sources some potential joint bidders like private equity firms have refused to sign the nondisclosure agreement.
Though merger and sale rumors are emerging from the weeds in an almost daily basis and now seem to be coming up against hurdles set by Yang, its open ended as to what the strategic review will yield.
In September, Yahoo! management wrote of its strategic review, "This process will take time. Months, not weeks."
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York