Andrew Mason Groupon

Groupon’s shares soared about 23 percent today on a sketchy rumor that Google was interested in buying it, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The rumor, which has no sourcing, is interesting when you consider that Google reportedly wanted to buy Groupon two years ago for $6 billion. Now Groupon’s market cap is $2.5 billion. Google, in theory, could buy Groupon for its users and move them over to Google Offers.

“Where the stock is currently trading, it’s a takeout candidate,” Telsey Advisory Group analyst Tom Forte told Bloomberg. “If Google was interested at $6 billion, I think it’s a possibility.”

However, Groupon is in extremely messy shape right now. CEO Andrew Mason (pictured) has been repeatedly called out by Wall Street for letting Groupon sink to a share price of less than $5 from its IPO price of $20. A recent Evercore Partners report put a $3 price target on Groupon and recommended to sell.

“It would be weird if the board wasn’t discussing whether I was the right guy for the job,” Mason said in late November. “If I ever felt that I wasn’t the right person to do the job, I’d fire myself.”

With all these issues, it would be strange for Google to be interested in buying Groupon. That is, unless Google is waiting for the company to drop to some staggering new low and attempt to buy it for cheap.

Groupon closed the day at $ 4.69, an increase of about 23 percent. In after-hours trading, Groupon has fallen about 3 percent, but the day still looks quite good for the company.

Groupon spokesperson Paul Taaffe declined to comment on the speculation.

Andrew Mason photo via DEMO/Flickr

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