Sohu IT, 3/10/11
According to a source within the investment community, Chinese group buying site Lashou recently began reaching out to investment banks to explore its options for an overseas listing, which, if successful, is expected to lead to an IPO toward the end of this year.
The source suggested that Lashou's recent discussions with multiple investment banks have focused more on the possibility of raising capital through a public offering on a U.S.-based exchange.
One venture capitalist close to Lashou said that the site's original plan was to secure private funding in the latter half of this year, but considering the intense competition in the domestic group buy market and the relatively large amounts of funding obtained by its competitors, Lashou is instead looking to secure funding with an IPO and hasten its expansion in the Chinese market.
Regarding a possible public listing, Lashou CEO Wu Bo declined to comment, claiming it would be "inconvenient to disclose."
Editor's Note: According to DoNews, further information suggests that Lashou recently appointed a new CFO, a move assumed to be part of pre-listing efforts. CEO Wu Bo said the company's CFO position had yet to be filled, and all departments and hiring processes within Lashou are being gradually improved in line with the company's current expansion. For more background on this topic, please see "Lashou CEO: Need More Funds to Compete with Groupon" MD 1/24/11 issue.