October 22, 2017 / 4:13 PM / 3 years ago

Meal box firm HelloFresh sets price range for Nov. 2 IPO

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Loss-making German meal-kit-delivery group HelloFresh is offering shares worth up to 357 million euros ($421 million) in its stock market flotation, the company said on Sunday.

HelloFresh is planning to sell up to about 31 million new shares including an overallotment option for 9 to 11.50 euros apiece, implying a valuation of the company of up to 1.5 billion euros excluding debt.

HelloFresh, majority-owned by German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet (RKET.DE), decided to go ahead with its renewed listing despite a 50 percent decline in shares in U.S. rival Blue Apron (APRN.N) since the group’s June IPO.

Two years ago, HelloFresh cancelled a planned IPO after investors rejected a higher valuation.

It said on Sunday its stock would start trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Nov. 2. If the overallotment is fully used, HelloFresh will have a free float of about 19 percent.

HelloFresh’s largest market is the United States, where it is spending heavily on discounts and advertising to compete with rivals like Blue Apron and Plated.

“We have seen tremendous success and market share gains in the U.S. in the last few quarters. We now intend to use the proceeds from the IPO to continue expanding our market share and become the clear No. 1 player on the U.S. market in 2018,” Chief Executive Dominik Richter said in Sunday’s statement.

The HelloFresh announcement is a boost for Rocket Internet, which listed in 2014 with a pledge to be a launch pad for floatations of start-ups. Volatile markets meant it had to wait until this year for its first success, with takeaway firm Delivery Hero (DHER.DE).

HelloFresh, which delivers meal ingredients and recipes in 10 countries, reiterated its goal of breaking even on an operating level (adjusted EBITDA) within the next 15 months.

Its net loss stood at 56.7 million euros in the first half of 2017 on revenues of 435 million euros.

($1 = 0.8487 euros)

Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Evans, Larry King

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