BERLIN, Sept 4 German venture capital group
Rocket Internet, which is mulling an imminent stock market
floatation, announced on Thursday it would team up with Swedish
investor Kinnevik to create a fashion e-commerce
group focused on emerging markets.
Rocket Internet and Kinnevik, which holds an 18 percent
stake in the Berlin-based firm, said they would combine Rocket's
five emerging market fashion start-ups - Lamoda in Russia,
Dafiti in Latin America, Jabong in India, Zalora in south-east
Asia and Namshi in the Middle East - into a single group, GFG.
The transaction is expected to close in late 2014 and it was
not immediately clear what impact the move would have on Rocket
Internet's plans for an initial public offering, which had been
expected in coming weeks after Zalando, the European e-commerce
firm it also helped launch, announced it planned to list soon.
The five companies to be combined had 4.6 million active
customers and over 7,000 employees as at June 30. Their websites
received 8.4 million orders and generated 436 million euros
($573 million) of gross merchandise volume in the first half.
Since launching in 2011 and 2012, the five have attracted
more than 1 billion euros in funding from investors including
Kinnevik, Access Industries, Summit Partners, Verlinvest,
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Tengelmann and still have
about 350 million in cash as of June 30.
All direct and indirect shareholders will contribute their
shares into a newly formed Luxembourg-based entity, with the
three largest shareholders in the new group to be Kinnevik with
25.1 percent, Rocket with 23.5 percent and Access Industries
with 7.4 percent.
Based on the latest funding rounds for the five firms, the
new group is worth 2.7 billion euros, Rocket and Kinnevik said.
(1 US dollar = 0.7612 euro)
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Potter)