Morgan Stanley Gains Upper Hand in Groupon IPO Scramble

grouponcat Morgan Stanley Gains Upper Hand in Groupon IPO ScrambleWeeks ago, Goldman Sachs seized the media’s imagination by getting an inside track on the initial public offering of Facebook, a social network so large that David Fincher made a movie about it. Today, reports indicate that Morgan Stanley may be gaining similar access to a possible IPO for Groupon, a website with a sporadic revenue model whose mascot is a talking cat.

It’s enough to make you think that Morgan’s status as top underwriter may be in jeopardy.

The New York Times reports today that Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and other investors have raised $1 billion for Groupon, and some bankers are prepared to saddle Groupon with a $15 billion valuation, a figure that far outstrips a $6 billion bid from Google that Groupon rejected.

Groupon has gotten so large that it’s had to start convening staff in a church, says The Times. They’d better start setting aside the pews in Israel, South Africa and India, recent footholds for the coupon giant’s ambitions for global expansion.

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor