Rocket Internet's HelloFresh Food Unit Plans Frankfurt IPO

  • HelloFresh valued at 2.6 billion euros as per last financing
  • Berlin food startup delivers weekly meal kits to customers

HelloFresh AG, the German food-delivery startup backed by the Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet SE, plans to hold an initial public offering in Frankfurt.

The sale will consist of new shares, and current shareholders may also offer their stock, Berlin-based Rocket Internet said in a statement Wednesday. Rocket Internet owns 56.4 percent of HelloFresh. Financial details weren’t disclosed. Rocket Internet rose as much as 6 percent in Frankfurt, to 29.75 euros a share.

HelloFresh fetched a valuation of 2.6 billion euros ($2.9 billion) after raising 75 million euros in a funding round in September. HelloFresh was set up in 2011 and delivers weekly meal kits with recipes and ingredients to customers in several countries, including the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. Revenue in the first nine months of 2015 soared to 198 million euros over the same period last year, the company said. It delivered 13.2 million meals to 530,000 customers in the third quarter, up from 116,000 customers last year.

"We’re convinced by the HelloFresh subscription model and the enormous growth opportunities of the market,” HelloFresh Chief Executive Officer Dominik Richter said in a statement. The IPO "will strengthen our financial flexibility and actively support our growth strategy."

HelloFresh seeks to invest as much as 60 million euros in the coming three years in new delivery centers and speeding up processes and reduce fixed costs to raise margins, it said.

Other shareholders in HelloFresh include Insight Venture Partners with 19.5 percent and Vorwerk Direct Selling Ventures with 4.6 percent. The management team indirectly owns 6.6 percent. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are the joint global coordinators for the IPO and, together with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Group AG, also act as joint bookrunners.

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