Zalando sets IPO share price

29th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, Zalando, on Monday set the share price for its IPO at 21.5 euros, near the high end of its targeted range.

It had been expected to set the share price at between 18 and 22.5 euros.

At that price, Zalando would be able to raise about 605 million euros ($768 million), slightly less than the maximum amount it had hoped to bring in of 633 million euros.

Its Initial Public Offering of 11.3 percent of its capital via new shares is set for the Frankfurt Stock Market on Wednesday. It is expected to be one of the biggest IPOs on the German exchange in the past few years.

Another German company attracting investor interest, start-up incubator Rocket Internet is also set to start trading on the Frankfurt exchange on Thursday, aiming to raise 1.48 billion euros.

Founded in 2008, Zalando is a direct competitor of US online retailer Amazon's online fashion vending business, and posted a turnover of 1.8 billion euros in 2013.

In the first six months of this year, it booked a tiny profit of 200,000 euros on sales of 1.05 billion euros.

"Reaching break-even in the first half of 2014 is an important milestone which underlines the attractiveness of our business model," said Zalando board member Rubin Ritter earlier this month.

"Going public is the next logical step in Zalando's development, as it provides us with the necessary flexibility to pursue our long-term expansion plans," Ritter said.

Zalando is present in 15 countries, including France and Belgium. While it initially started off selling just shoes in 2008, it now offers full range of clothing and fashion items from 1,500 different brands.

According to a German television documentary earlier this year, however, working conditions for company's employees are tough, with workers in its logistics centre walking up to 27 kilometres (17 miles) on an eight-hour shift to fetch and carry the items for customer orders.

© 2014 AFP

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