Groupon is to acquire Korean-based Ticket Monster from LivingSocial for $260 million in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2014.
“Ticket Monster is a perfect fit for Groupon as we continue to transition our business globally from a flash sale email model to a mobile commerce marketplace,” said Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky.
“Ticket Monster has a vibrant and growing marketplace in one of the world’s largest ecommerce markets. Coupled with outstanding mobile penetration and expertise in local, travel, and product, they will help us accelerate our overall growth, provide immediate scale and serve as a cornerstone for our operations in Asia.”
Ticket Monster — known locally as TMON — was founded in 2010 and has quickly grown into a leading provider of product, local and travel offers in Korea. TMON has consistently seen year-over-year billings growth in excess of 50 percent, with annual billings of more than $800 million today. The business is said to be close to break-even on an EBITDA basis.
Approximately half of its sales are transacted on mobile devices. Based in Seoul, the company has grown to 1,000 employees serving more than 4 million active customers.
The Ticket Monster brand and leadership team will remain in place. Groupon and TMON will work on an operational plan for the two local entities once the deal has closed.
Per the terms of the agreement, Groupon will acquire LivingSocial Korea — the holding company that owns Ticket Monster. Any non-Korean assets currently owned by LivingSocial Korea will be divested prior to close. The agreement is for at least $100 million in cash, and up to $160 million in Groupon Class A common stock, with the final cash and stock allocation to be determined. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions, including review by Korean antitrust authorities.
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