* Rocket shareholders not seeking to take money out of
* Rocket considering $6.8 bln IPO
* Rocket Internet ventures active in 102 countries
* Samwer brothers have raised 3-4 bln euros for Rocket
BERLIN, June 24Rocket Internet, the German
venture capital group behind dozens of online start-ups, will
aim to raise new capital to help it grow rather than see current
owners cash out if it decides to proceed with a listing, sources
close to the matter said.
"Rocket only wants to raise money for future growth," said a
source familiar with the company's thinking.
"If a Rocket IPO (initial public offering) does go ahead it
will be all primary capital. The existing shareholders are not
planning to sell shares or take any money out of the business."
Sources have told Reuters the company is considering a stock
market listing in Frankfurt later this year which could value it
at up to 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion), as buoyant capital
markets have encouraged a flurry of e-commerce flotations.
German business monthly Manager Magazin reported last week
that Rocket Internet was considering making a payout to existing
investors financed by debt ahead of any IPO, leaving few
proceeds left for new growth.
Rocket Internet is bidding to create the largest internet
empire outside the United States and China, seeking to replicate
the success of Amazon and Alibaba in
markets the U.S. and Chinese e-commerce groups have yet to
dominate, such as Africa, Latin America and Russia.
Rocket Internet was founded in 2007 by brothers Oliver, Marc
and Alexander Samwer. It is already active in 102 countries,
making revenue of $1 billion in 2013 via online fashion stores
including Dafiti in Latin America and Lamoda in Russia, as well
as Jumia for general merchandise in Africa.
Oliver Samwer said last week e-commerce had even better
prospects in emerging markets than in developed economies, as
online sites do not have to compete with such established
The Samwers have raised 3.5 billion euros of funding for
Rocket Internet and its ventures, sources say, including from
Swedish investor AB Kinnevik, billionaire American
industrialist Leonard Blavatnik, JP Morgan Asset Management and
retailers such as Britain's Tesco and Germany's
Tengelmann and Rewe.
Rocket Internet also helped launch Zalando, Europe's biggest
online fashion retailer, which is considering its own stock
market listing. Rocket is no longer invested in Zalando, but the
Samwer brothers' European Founders Fund still owns 18 percent.
($1 = 0.7357 Euros)
(Editing by Mark Potter)