Some of Groupon's pre-IPO investors are selling their shares in the company following a dismal performance on the stock exchange that has seen the firm's market cap fall from USD13.11bn in December last year to USD3.1bn. Now that the ‘lock-up period' has elapsed, where initial investors in a company cannot sell their shares on the open market until a certain amount of time after IPO, Groupon's early backers are cashing in. Investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity Ventures, and Maverick Capital have shed either all or portions of their stakes in the company since its lock-up period expired in June, according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal(WSJ). Andreessen Horowitz sold all 5.7m shares it bought at USD7.90 each, having funnelled in USD40m months before Groupon went public. Fidelity Ventures and Maverick Capital invested in the same USD950m round but have since cut their stakes, with Fidelity reducing its total to 13.2m shares between March and June this year and Maverick now holding just 2m shares, down from 6.3m at the beginning of the year.
The news follows revelations that Andreessen Horowitz founder Marc Andreessen and Groupon board member Howard Schultz both advised Groupon not to IPO when it did, fearing the additional scrutiny on its finances.
|17 Aug 12 - International Herald Tribune Business News|
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