Exclusive: Groupon taps Citydeal team to boost sales

Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:22pm EDT
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By Nivedita Bhattacharjee

BANGALORE (Reuters) - No. 1 daily deals website Groupon Inc is turning to executives from Citydeal -- the European business it bought last year -- to help boost slowing growth in its domestic business, ahead of a planned public listing.

The company appointed Christopher Muhr as its sales chief, taking over from Darren Schwartz, a source familiar with the matter who did not want to be named, said.

Muhr is moving from London where he was managing director of Groupon UK.

The move seems aimed at tapping into the strength of the company's international team as growth in its domestic market starts to mature.

In June, Groupon filed to raise up to $750 million in an IPO, expected to be one of the most high-profile new listings of 2011.

Groupon's valuation has dropped 20 percent to $16 billion in the latest private auction of shares, according to brokerage Wedbush Securities.

Wedbush partly blamed that on the market slump, but also highlighted slowing sales growth as a concern.

"Groupon's recently amended S-1, indicating rapidly decelerating Q2 growth, did little to help drive investor interest in the shares," Wedbush wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.   Continued...

<p>An online coupon sent via email from Groupon is pictured on a laptop screen November 29, 2010 in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>