Partnerships / Acquisitions

Groupon Gains On Alibaba Takeover Rumors

Shares of daily deal website operator Groupon gained in trading Thursday (Jan. 12) on unconfirmed rumors of a takeover offer.

According to a report, the speculation is that Alibaba, China’s leading eCommerce operator, is looking to acquire Groupon. The report noted that Alibaba has a “sizable” stake in Groupon.

Groupon shares were trading lower for most the trading session Thursday but spiked as high as 6 percent when the rumor surfaced and ended up at 2.3 percent.

Jack Ma, the head of China’s largest eCommerce site, Alibaba, met with President-Elect Donald Trump on Monday (Jan. 9) to discuss job creation in the U.S. during the course of the next five years. According to a report by CNBC, Ma is committed to creating 1 million new jobs in the U.S. and discussed Alibaba’s planned expansion in the U.S. in a meeting with Trump. While Ma and Trump were expected to have a productive conversation, it does come at a time when tensions are growing between Trump and China. Trump has already called for big tariffs on trade with China.

At the same time, Trump has been critical of eCommerce giant Amazon, which, in addition to being the leading eCommerce company, also offers cloud services and a third-party marketplace. Trump has said Amazon will have “such problems” when he becomes president because of the tax structure of the company, noted the report. If Ma and Trump came to some sort of deal that includes job creation, it will be the latest company to commit to hiring more U.S. workers or keeping jobs in the states. Softbank has pledged to create 50,000 jobs, and Sprint, which is owned by Softbank, committed to 5,000 new U.S. jobs.

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