Rocket Internet sees net benefits to being public company

The chief executive of German ecommerce company Rocket Internet still sees net benefits to being a public company even though it has separately listed most of the companies it launched.


Reuters

The chief executive of German ecommerce company Rocket Internet still sees net benefits to being a public company even though it has separately listed most of the companies it launched.

Hanschke Rocket Internet had a shaky start after listing in 2014 as investors worried over the big losses of its start-ups, but it has since successfully listed a raft of firms including Delivery Hero, HelloFresh and Home24.

Some investors have suggested it might make sense to take Rocket private again as its shares have struggled since listing. The stock was up 0.18 percent at 0830 GMT.

CEO Oliver Samwer said a public listing was still an advantage, even though it might be difficult for a short-term investor to understand the company.

“The net benefits are positive,” he told journalists. “It gives you diversification of capital resources. It is also very good with regards to governance, disclosure, also with recruiting of key people.”

Samwer was speaking ahead of a capital markets day in London and after Rocket Internet published nine-month results, including announcing it has 2 billion euros ($2.28 billion) in available cash.

Samwer, whose investments have made him one of Germany’s richest men, noted that stock markets were currently volatile, particularly in the tech sector, and said the cash pile could allow Rocket to pounce when the time is right.

“It gives us a unique position to be a beneficiary if valuation changes in the market,” he said.

He said Rocket had decided against giving away too much information on the new start-ups in which it was currently investing before they get to a critical size after its experience with earlier firms that sometimes struggled.

He declined to comment on speculation that listings are being planned for Global Fashion Group, the emerging markets online fashion retailer, and Jumia, its African ecommerce group.

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