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Friday, February 14, 2014

Andrew Mason unloads more than half of Groupon (GRPN) stake

Ticker: GRPN

Groupon Inc. co-founder Andrew Mason sold more than half his stock in the company since being forced out as CEO nearly a year ago.

Mr. Mason holds 18 million shares of Groupon common stock, down from 45.6 million shares at the end of 2012, according to securities documents disclosed today. Mr. Mason now owns about 3 percent of Groupon's stock, compared with 7 percent a year ago. His remaining holdings are worth $200 million at current prices. Groupon's stock price more than doubled since Mr. Mason departed Feb. 28.

Mr. Mason, who has moved the San Francisco area, still holds 999,984 shares of Class B stock that have special voting rights. Class B stock grants shareholders 150 votes per share, versus one per share for common stock.

Co-founders Eric Lefkofsky, who replaced Mr. Mason as Groupon CEO, and Brad Keywell, also hold Class B shares. Collectively, Messrs. Mason, Lefkofsky and Keywell have control over 36 percent of Groupon voting rights. When Mr. Mason left the company, he was no longer bound by restrictions that govern when insiders can sell stock.

Mr. Mason isn't the only Groupon insider who sold shares as the stock price recovered (although it still hasn't returned to its $20 IPO price). His co-founders also have been selling, though not as much.

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