Groupon IPO Back On Track

Discount company preparing for launch as Facebook defers

Online discounter Groupon is preparing for its initial public offering, just weeks after reportedly postponing its investor roadshow. The New York Times now reports that the company is planning to go public in late October or early November this year. 

The news comes as Facebook has decided to delay its IPO until late 2012, according to the Financial Times. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg apparently wants to keep employees “focused on product developments rather than a pay-out,” the FT writes.

The Facebook delay means that Groupon’s IPO could be the biggest public technology debut this year. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Groupon had canceled pre-launch presentations to potential investors because of “stock market volatility”. The company was "reassessing its timing on a week-by-week basis," for the IPO, according to an unnamed source.

But the latest news means that Groupon could embark on its investor roadshow by the middle of next month, the New York Times notes.

The Chicago-based company has seen rapid expansion in the three years since it was set up; the New York Times says a public launch could value Groupon at $25 to $30 billion.

But Groupon chief executive Andrew Mason has faced criticism after an internal memo was leaked in which he discussed the company’s financial status and attacked critics. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether the memo violates the company’s IPO ‘quiet period’. 

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