BERLIN, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Swedish investment company Kinnevik said on Wednesday it is selling at least half of its 13 percent stake in German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet.
Kinnevik said in a statement it planned to sell 10.9 million shares via a placing but it reserved the right to increase that amount. Rocket Internet’s share price closed down 2.1 percent shortly before the announcement of the sale.
Founded by brothers Oliver, Alexander and Marc Samwer in 2007, Rocket has built up dozens of start-ups from fashion e-commerce to food delivery, in an attempt to replicate the success of Amazon and Alibaba in new markets.
However, some investors have become concerned over heavy losses as well as delays to planned listings and its share price has tumbled since a fundraising last year with Kinnevik which slashed the valuation of their Global Fashion Group (GFG) online retailer.
Kinnevik was one of the first investors in Rocket and is the firm’s second-biggest shareholder after the Samwer brothers who have a 37 percent stake. Kinnevik also has stakes in a number of Rocket’s major start-ups.
Analysts had predicted that Kinnevik would eventually part ways with Rocket as Kinnevik shifts its investments into education, financial technology and healthcare.
Last year two Kinnevik representatives stepped down from the Rocket supervisory board members, with both sides saying that was to prevent conflicts of interest as Rocket moves from being an incubator for new Internet-based businesses to being a more general investment firm in online companies with a model similar to Kinnevik‘s.
Rocket has been forced into a number of so-called downrounds, cutting valuations for several start-ups when raising new funds, most recently for Home24. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)