Last week Google offered to buy Groupon for the sextuply cool amount of six billion dollars. $5.3 billion would be distributed up front, with an additional $700 million available later as an earnout. It seems high, but Groupon is expected to make $2 billion in revenue this year, only their second year in operation, despite the widely reported previous estimate that they would only make $500 million.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting Groupon turned down the deal, wanting to remain independent and eventually (as we speculated a couple weeks ago) make an initial public offering of stock. If the deal had gone through, it would have been Google’s largest acquisition, their largest so far being the $3.1 billion they paid for DoubleClick in 2007.
Back in April, when Groupon was valued at only $1.3 billion, they sold $135 million in stock to Russian holding company Digital Sky Technologies (DST). At the time, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason stated, “When people came with a lot of money to buy a very small percentage of Groupon and it was enough to permanently solve the money problem, why would I not want to do that? Now I can focus on making Groupon great.” So Groupon can afford to turn down an offer from Google while they focus on building a legacy, easier to do when you’re entirely your own boss. We can understand, but daaaamn. Six billion dollars was left on the table. Cajones, they have them.
- It took three hours to clean up 52 pallets of Jell-O and pudding cups after a semi carrying them tipped over in Iowa. Clean up crews found it easy to move salvageable Jell-O packs onto alternate transportation, as there’s always room for Jell-O. (GlobeGazette, picture via Flickr)
- A man in Brighton, England realized people kept slipping on the patch of ice outside his house. Instead of warning people, he did the next best thing: set up a video camera. (via Newslite, video at Australia’s MSN, which is way cooler than our MSN)
- Google isn’t the only one looking to get into the group-buying website game. Amazon has invested $175 million into LivingSocial, which is valued at $1 billion and is Groupon’s biggest competitor. LivingSocial currently pulls in more than $1 million each day on average and expects to post revenues of half a billion dollars in 2011. That’s halfway cool. (TechCrunch)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- 8% of all group-buying website visits in the U.S. are going to LivingSocial. It’s in second place after Groupon, who still command 79% of the U.S. group-buying visits. Third place went to BuyWithMe.com, who get just over 1% of the visits. Uproxx’s own group-buying site — GetYourCatHatsHere.com — didn’t make a showing, which is a shame, because every cat should have a hat. (Mashable)
- Not only do Groupon have ten times the traffic of their nearest competitor, but they are also the fastest-growing company in Web history. Well, fine, whatever. We didn’t need to sell these cases of cat hats anyway. (Forbes)