* Rocket to offer 18.57 euros per share in delisting and buy back
* Founder and CEO Oliver Samwer to keep his 4.5% stake
* Rocket shares have slumped from 42.50 offer price in 2014
* Extraordinary shareholders meeting set for Sept. 24 (Adds details, background)
BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) - German tech investment company Rocket Internet said on Tuesday it plans to delist its shares as it has sufficient access to capital outside the stock exchange and can better pursue a long-term approach to investing.
Investors have long suggested that Rocket Internet, with a market capitalisation of 2.6 billion euros ($3.12 billion), would be better off going private again since it successfully listed all the major firms it helped found, including Delivery Hero, HelloFresh and Home24.
“The significance of capital markets as a financing source has diminished. A delisting will permit Rocket Internet to pursue a long-term approach in its strategic decisions,” the company said in a statement.
Listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 2014, Rocket’s shares have mostly traded well below their issue price of 42.50 euros and below the combined value of the cash on its balance sheet and its own valuation of its remaining investments.
In its latest financial results, published in May, Rocket Internet said it had 1.9 billion euros of net cash as of April 30 and valued its investments in more than 200 private companies at 1 billion euros as of March 31.
Rocket Internet said it would offer 18.57 euros for its shares in the delisting. The stock closed on Monday at 18.95 euros and was up 1.5% on Tuesday morning.
Oliver Samwer, the company’s founder and chief executive whose investments in tech companies have made him one of Germany’s richest men, will hang on to his 4.53% stake in the company, as would his Global Founders fund which holds 45%.
Rocket said it would buy back 8.84% of the share capital for 18.57 euros per share up to Sept. 15 and would seek authorisation to buy back up to another 10% at an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting called for Sept. 24 to decide on the offer. The rest of the shares are held by public and institutional investors.
$1 = 0.8344 euros Reporting by Emma Thomasson Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Susan Fenton
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