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Groupon IPO could be as soon as Monday

Oft-rumoured coming out party could kick off next week

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Groupon's foray onto public markets hasn't exactly been smooth, but sources are saying it's a go for next week after many rumours of the on-again-off-again variety.

Those people familiar with the matter have been chatting to Reuters again, and are now saying that Groupon has a definite-ish start for its IPO roadshow: next Monday or Tuesday.

Groupon had not replied to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The roadshow is the kick-off point for an initial public offering, where the company tours around touting its brilliance to drum up interest in its newly minted shares.

It's a drumming up that Groupon might need, as the first waves of enthusiasm for the company's coming out party may well have receded in the wake of the various factors that have delayed it.

First there was the odd accounting metric in its IPO filing that seemed to be trying to make the daily deals site look more profitable than it was by leaving out its marketing and acquisition costs, although the traditionally accepted metrics were present as well.

The coupon site duly pulled the metric after the kerfuffle, but not before a number of analysts began to ponder whether the online voucher business model was a goer after all.

Then, the market went all volatile and the first estimates of Groupon's worth – somewhere in the region of $20bn – started to look a tad optimistic. Today's sources think the Chicago-based company will be valued somewhere around $11bn to $12bn.

Oh, and then, Groupon's CEO Andrew Mason wrote an email rant against the company's critics that was leaked to the press during the quiet period – the time when a firm that has filed for an IPO has to keep the lid on anything that might affect its share price, such as its CEO raving about how well it's doing.

The delay in Groupon going public has been attributed to any and all of these factors, but it's certainly entering the market under different circumstances than it first envisioned, and as such, it's a highly anticipated launch whose success or failure could send strong signal to both markets and tech firms. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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