Kinnevik Joins Rocket to Combine Fashion-Sales Websites

Investment AB Kinnevik and Rocket Internet AG, the e-commerce accelerator founded by Germany’s Samwer brothers, agreed to combine five online fashion businesses to create a global powerhouse.

The newly created Global Fashion Group, valued at about 2.7 billion euros ($3.5 billion), will operate across Latin America, India, Russia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia, Stockholm-based Kinnevik said in a statement today. The group will span 23 countries with a combined population of 2.5 billion people in a 330 billion-euro fashion market, it said.

Most of the direct and indirect shareholders in the five companies will contribute their stock to an entity to be set up in Luxembourg, Kinnevik said. The Swedish company and Berlin-based Rocket will remain the largest investors with 25.1 percent and 23.5 percent stakes, respectively. Billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries Holdings Inc. will have a 7.4 percent stake.

The move comes a day after Berlin-based Zalando SE, Europe’s biggest online-only shoe and fashion retailer, outlined plans for an initial public offering. Kinnevik owns a 36 percent stake in Zalando. The Samwers’ Global Founders investment vehicle owns 16 percent of Zalando, which emerged from Rocket.

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