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Groupon IPO seeks $11.4bn valuation

Price range of $16 to $18 a share confirmed

Website security in corporate America

Groupon confirmed in a regulatory filing today that it is seeking an IPO of around $11.4bn, significantly lower than the $25bn IPO the e-coupon site was pursuing in June this year.

The company is offering 30 million shares of Class A common stock at $16 to $18 each, which means Groupon could raise as much as $540m, or $260m less that it sought earlier this year.

The $11.4bn valuation is based on $632.8m outstanding share after the IPO.

Groupon, which is based in Chicago, was criticised for a strange accounting metric in August that appeared to make daily-deals website look more profitable than it was.

It duly pulled the metric, by only after analysts began to question whether the online voucher market had legs.

In the US Securities and Exchange filing, Groupon boss Andrew Mason asked investors to back his firm.

"If you're thinking about investing, hopefully it's because, like me, you believe that Groupon is better positioned than any company in history to reshape local commerce," he said, while presumably hitting the hyperbole button on his keyboard.

"The speed of our growth reflects the enormous opportunity before us to create a more efficient local marketplace. As with any business in a new industry, success for our investors is not guaranteed.

"We have yet to reach sustained profitability and we have no shortage of competition. Our path will include some moments of brilliance and others of sheer stupidity. Knowing that this will at times be a bumpy ride, we thank you for considering joining us."

Quite. ®

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