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) --


has been granted approval to raise up to $950 million in equity financing.

According to a report from


, Gropupon made a filing with the state of Delaware on Dec. 17 saying that it intended to sell equity stakes in the company for $31.59 each, valuing the company at between $6.4 billion and $7.8 billion.

Those equity stakes would automatically be converted into common share should the company go public at some point in the future.

Groupon has been looking to grow as it thwarts offers from potential buyers and faces growing competition. Recently the company

named a former Amazon (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report executive as its chief financial officer. Jason Child, formerly the vice president of international business for Amazon,

will move to Chicago, where Groupon is based.

Child's hiring was interpreted as a sign that Groupon is considering a near-term IPO.

Earlier this month, Groupon

rejected a $6 billion buyout

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. The company, which offers discounts on restaurants, spas and other consumer services in more than 300 cities, is expected to generate revenue of around $800 million, according to reports.

Amazon recently invested

$175 million in LivingSocial

, Groupon's biggest rival.

-- Written by Ross Tucker in New York.

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