Groupon IPO Could Value Coupon Company at $15 Billion

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Groupon is planning an initial public offering that would value the three-year-old online coupon distribution site at as much as $15 billion -- more than double what Google (GOOG) reportedly bid on the company last year -- The New York Times reported, citing two people familiar with the process whom it didn't identify.

Groupon has held multiple discussions with bankers this week and may go public as early as this spring, the newspaper reported. The company late last month hired its first chief financial officer, former Amazon.com (AMZN) executive Jason Child.

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The IPO talks follow Groupon's announcement late last month that would raise $950 million, its largest amount of venture capital to date, to fund expansion and pay back shareholders and employees. At the time, Groupon didn't disclose the market value that funding round will place on it.

Groupon, which was profitable after just eight months of operations, reportedly turned down a Google bid for as much as $6 billion last year. The company, which which sends daily coupons to about 20 million subscribers in 230 markets, was valued in April at about $1.3 billion by an investment group led by Digital Sky Technologies, Bloomberg News reported earlier.

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