June 15, 2018 / 8:50 AM / 5 months ago

Shares in German online furniture retailer Home24 jump on debut

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shares in German online furniture retailer Home24 (H24.DE) jumped on their Frankfurt stock market debut on Friday, riding a wave of investor enthusiasm for new technology listings.

FILE PHOTO: A trader works at Frankfurt's stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Home24 shares opened at 28.50 euros each and rose to as much as 30.75 euros, compared with an issue price of 23 euros. Initially, the company had set a price range of 19.50 to 24.50 euros. At 1517 GMT, they were priced at 29.51 euros.

The stock benefited from a technology frenzy that saw Dutch payments group Adyen’s ADYEN_w.AS stock double on its debut earlier this week, reminiscent of the 1999 tech bubble.

Freddie Lait, founder of London-based Latitude Investment Management, said both listings showed a willingness on the part of owners to tap into strong stock valuations, as well as investor demand for choice in what remains a small European tech sector.

Lait pointed to the prospect of more to come, though, given European policymakers’ collective push to champion developments in financial technology.

“To that end, this may not be a bubble, rather the start of things to come, encouraged by strong venture capital flows and a supportive regulatory regime in the UK in particular and Europe in general,” he told Reuters.

Home24 is raising gross proceeds of 150 million euros ($174 million), initially giving it a market value of 625 million euros including an over-allotment option, following its stock market flotation.

Launched in 2009 in Berlin, loss-making Home24 delivers furniture in seven European markets, plus Brazil.

It has said it plans to use the proceeds of its listing to invest in property, equipment and technology and to repay outstanding debt.

Ecommerce investor Rocket Internet (RKET.DE) remained the largest investor in Home24 with a stake of more than 30 percent, while other investors include Sweden’s Kinnevik (KINVb.ST) and Baillie Gifford. About 29 percent of the shares are widely held since the IPO.

($1 = 0.8624 euros)

Additional reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Adrian Croft and Louise Heavens

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