Groupon Inc.'s beaten-down shares surged the most in more than six months Friday, on speculation that Google Inc. or someone else might consider acquiring the online coupon provider.
Just before the close of New York trading, Groupon shares were up 23 percent at $4.69, not far from the intraday high of $4.75, for the biggest intraday gain since May 15. Through Thursday, the stock had lost 81 percent since an initial public offering in November 2011.
The stock plunge since the IPO may spark renewed takeover interest from Google, which had considered acquiring Groupon for $6 billion the year before its public market debut, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Now that Groupon has lost half its market value, Google might take another look, said Tom Forte, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group.
“Where the stock is currently trading, it’s a takeout candidate,” Forte said. “If Google was interested at $6 billion, I think it’s a possibility.”
Paul Taaffe, a spokesman for Groupon, declined to comment on takeover speculation, as did Katelin Todhunter-Gerberg, a spokeswoman for Google.
In the year since the IPO, growth has slowed and Groupon’s as demand for daily deals has dwindled. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason has struggled to shore up the core business and push the company into new areas to generate added sources of revenue.
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