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UPDATE 1-Rocket Internet plans capital increase of 7.8 pct
February 12, 2015 / 6:41 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Rocket Internet plans capital increase of 7.8 pct

(adds details of company spending plans, company context)

By Eric Auchard

FRANKFURT, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Ecommerce company Rocket Internet, which held its initial public offering just four months ago, said on Thursday that the company plans a capital increase by issuing new stock representing 7.8 percent of its outstanding share base.

The Berlin-based company said it is looking to issue up to 12 million new shares. The number of shares issued and their placement price will be revealed this Friday, the company said. The new shares are expected to begin trading on 17 February.

Rocket said it had invested a total of around 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) since its 1.4 billion-euro IPO.

After a lacklustre first day of trading in October, Rocket shares have subsequently gained 45.41 percent.

The stock closed down 4.2 percent at 53.80 on Thursday.

Over the past week alone, Rocket has announced around a dozen separate investments in online food and groceries businesses in markets worldwide as part of a plan to assemble the largest online takeout food delivery network outside of China.

Among the biggest transactions were a new, 30-percent stake in former rival Delivery Hero, for which Rocket paid 496 million euros, and an additional 130 million euros paid to raise its stake in groceries firm HelloFresh to 52 percent.

On Wednesday, Rocket said it was acquiring another food takeway delivery firm, Kuwait-based Talabat, for around 150 million euros in a transaction expected to close in a few weeks.

Rocket said the new shares will be offered exclusively to institutional investors in a private placement by way of an accelerated bookbuilding process. The new shares will carry full dividend rights as of January 1, 2014, it said.

It said existing major investors Baillie Gifford and United Internet had confirmed their participation at the yet-to-be-determined placement price for an aggregate amount of around 210 million euros.

While Berlin-based Rocket sees itself as building an e-commerce operating empire, some investors prize it as a launchpad for future stock market listings of everything from online fashion to home furnishings to personal finance firms. ($1 = 0.8785 euros) (Reporting By Eric Auchard; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

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