November 3, 2011 / 8:25 PM / 7 years ago

Groupon raising $700 million in closely watched IPO

(Reuters) - Groupon Inc is set to raise $700 million in its initial public offering after the largest daily deals company increased the price and size of the deal on strong demand.

Groupon priced the IPO at $20 per share, above the initial range of $16 to $18, two market sources said on Thursday.

The company is selling 35 million shares, up from 30 million previously planned, the sources added.

The deal is one of the year’s most closely watched IPOs. Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason and his executive team have spent almost two weeks on the road pitching to investors and addressing criticism about a replicable business model, slowing growth and accounting concerns.

To pull the deal off the company cut its valuation by about half. Existing shareholders aren’t selling and Groupon is selling much less than 10 percent of itself. It also skipped meetings with potential investors in Europe and Asia.

Solid demand for a limited supply of Groupon stock may support the IPO on its Friday debut. The shares are set to begin trading on Nasdaq under the ticker GRPN.

Reporting by Alistair Barr; Editing by Richard Chang, Phil Berlowitz

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