Groupon CEO, founders to keep shares after lockup

NEW YORK Thu May 17, 2012 10:27am EDT

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason poses with his newly married wife, pop musician Jenny Gillespie, outside the Nasdaq Market following his company's IPO in New York, November 4, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason poses with his newly married wife, pop musician Jenny Gillespie, outside the Nasdaq Market following his company's IPO in New York, November 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Groupon Inc Chief Executive Andrew Mason and the company's other founders are planning to keep their shares in the company after a trading lock-up expires on June 1.

Groupon's lock-up expiration will allow some pre-initial-public-offering investors to sell their shares, and analysts say that the approach of the expiration has put Groupon's stock under additional pressure.

"We have no intention to sell," Mason said during a webcast of an investor meeting on Thursday, adding that he believes in the long-term future of the online coupon company.

Groupon shares were down about 6 percent or 80 cents at $12.25 on Nasdaq in morning trade. But Clayton Moran, an analyst for Benchmark Co, said this was due to the volatile nature of the stock rather than anything Mason said.

"To hear that a third of the shares are not going to be sold is somewhat encouraging," the analyst said.

The fact that Groupon sold a small chunk of its equity in the IPO makes such expirations more important.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew and Alistair Barr; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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