Groupon Inc (GRPN) Up Amid Goldman, Ticket Monster Rumors

Groupon shares were up Monday morning following the news that Goldman Sachs plans of acquiring a stake in Ticket Monster. Groupon, which wholly owns Ticket Monster, is considering selling atleast 20% of the stake, and is also viewing handing over managerial control by selling over 50% of its stake, reports The Korea Times.

Groupon acquired Ticket Monster only last year

On Friday, Groupon shares closed up over 3% while year to date stock is down over 30%.

In 2010, Shin Hyun-sung an MBA from the Wharton School of Business along with his colleagues started Ticket Monster as a venture company. It was sold off for 400 billion won in 2011 to Living Social by Shin after its huge success in the first year itself. Two years later i.e. in 2013, Living Social sold Ticket Monster to Groupon for $260 million or 290 billion won owing to the concerns over marketing expenses in social commerce industry.

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Initially, through the acquisition of Ticket Monster, Groupon aimed to expand the market share it holds in the Asian market. However, the company has been put up for sale by it in less than a year’s time.

No official words

Last year, Ticket Monster (is a leading Korean e-commerce company) recorded sales of 114.9 billion won and an operating loss of 70.8 billion won. Coupang, Ticket Monster and WeMakePrice are the top three players in the social commerce industry, which is facing cut-throat competition with profitability getting challenged due to the huge marketing expenses.

As of now, Ticket Monster has no information regarding Goldman Sachs plans of acquiring a stake. “Many parties will be interested in the acquisition, but please note that we haven’t even started the bidding process yet,” a spokesman for Ticket Monster said. The executive informed that the company has plans of determining the details of the bidding process next year.

The mobile commerce industry of Korea has drawn much interest from Goldman Sachs. Last month, an investment of 40 billion won was made by Goldman Sachs in Baedal Minjok, a mobile app for deliveries. So, far the app has been downloaded 14 million times, and it handles around 4 million deliveries on a monthly basis.