Meal delivery firm HelloFresh puts IPO on hold

FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters) - “Ready to cook” meal delivery company HelloFresh has put its planned flotation on hold, discouraged by wobbly equity markets, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

Investors have become sceptical about the company’s proposed value, the sources said.

The German company announced plans at the end of last month to seek a Frankfurt stock market listing to fund its rapid global expansion, in a bid to capitalise on rising consumer demand for convenience and investor appetite for tech flotations.

The company declined to comment.

HelloFresh delivers meal ingredients and recipes for dishes such as “cheeky chicken chow mein” and “warming lentil moussaka”, priced as low as 4 pounds ($6) apiece, to subscribers in seven European countries, as well as in Australia, Canada and the United States.

It is majority owned by Rocket Internet, a global e-commerce investor.

HelloFresh’s revenue swelled 384 percent to 198 million euros in the first nine months of 2015, while losses rose to 58 million from 8.5 million a year before.

A number of German companies such as container shipper Hapag-Lloyd, plastics maker Covestro and automotive supplier Schaeffler have debuted on the stock market this year only after curbing their capital-raising ambitions due to waning investor demand.

In September, HelloFresh was valued at 2.6 billion euros in a funding round, while U.S. peer Blue Apron in June secured funding which valued it at more than $2 billion. ($1 = 0.6538 pound) (Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)