According to Eric Lefkofsky, you should pay no attention to the $540.2 million the site has lost since 2008. And according to CEO Andrew Mason, you should pay no attention to Lefkofksy.
Groupon Inc. Chairman Eric Lefkofsky said he expects the money-losing daily-coupon provider, which filed on June 2 to sell shares to the public, to be “wildly profitable.”
Lefkofsky, who co-founded Groupon and is its biggest shareholder, made the comments on June 3 in response to questions about businesses that he previously ran or founded. These include Starbelly.com, InnerWorkings Inc. and Echo Global Logistics Inc. “I’m going to be in technology for a long time,” Lefkofsky said. “I’m going to start a lot of companies. These are not sham companies. These are great businesses. InnerWorkings is profitable. Echo is profitable. Groupon is going to be wildly profitable.”
“He is not supposed to say anything about the future, and, therefore, it will be up to the SEC to consider whether this optimistic statement is an attempt to give information that is not in the prospectus,” Georges Ugeux, CEO of Galileo Global Advisors LLC in New York, said today.
John Nester, a spokesman for the SEC in Washington, declined to comment. Groupon Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason barred employees in a June 2 memo from making comments about the company. “For the next 90 days or so, we are in a ‘quiet period’ where we can’t make any forward-looking statements about the company,” Mason wrote in the memo, obtained by Bloomberg News. “Anything we say now can be perceived as ‘fluffing the stock’ or something like that. So please don’t say anything like ‘Groupon is awesome’ around anyone you don’t fully trust.”