Groupon buys ideeli for $43 million

Groupon buys ideeli for $43 million

CHICAGO (AP) — As it looks to expand beyond the email daily deals business, Groupon has purchased online "flash-sale" retailer ideeli for $43 million in cash.

Ideeli sells men's and women's clothing and accessories and home decor items at a sale price for a limited time.

"Our customers have a demonstrated appetite for these offers," Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky said in a statement Monday. Chicago-based Groupon cited the growth potential of ideeli's smartphone offerings and fashion brands.

Once known for daily-deal emails, Groupon has been trying to morph into a more comprehensive destination for Internet bargain hunters. It is trying to train its millions of customers to regularly check for deals on their smartphones and tablets whenever they are about to buy something, rather than waiting for an offer to be emailed to them each day.

Ideeli will keep its headquarters in New York and continue to run as a separate website. The transaction closed Monday.

Groupon Inc.'s stock fell 24 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $11.32 in morning trading. Shares have more than doubled in the past 12 months but remain far below their initial public offering price of $20. The company went public in November 2011.

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