Investment Strategy

Pandora Chooses Morgan Stanley for IPO

Pandora Media, the popular online radio service, has selected Morgan Stanley as the sole bookrunner of a planned IPO to raise roughly $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Underwriters were notified at midday Friday about the selection—known as a mandate in Wall Street terms.

As the market for tech offerings heats up this year, Morgan Stanley appears to be in an enviable position, with the Pandora deal now under its belt and the prospect of others in the near future.

Morgan Stanley bankers enjoy favored standing with Groupon, the Internet discount provider that held bake-off meetings with various banks this week, say people familiar with the matter.

Groupon, which other people familiar with the matter say is mulling an IPO this fall that could be $1 billion to $1.5 billion in size—an issue that could value the company at $15 billion—has not yet decided on an underwriter.

Officials at Morgan Stanley declined to comment, as did spokespeople for Pandora and Groupon.

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Still, rival Goldman Sachs recently scored a huge coup with Facebook, the social networking site that is arguably the most sought-after pre-IPO client in Silicon Valley today.

Alongside a private investment of roughly $450 million in Facebook, Goldman last week sold an estimated $1.5 billion in Facebook shares to a select group of clients.

That deal, which valued Facebook at some $50 billion, likely made Goldman the frontrunner to underwrite an expected Facebook IPO.

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