Following months of speculation, Berlin-based online retail company Zalando has finally announced that it will IPO later this year. Zalando – which began life as a Rocket Internet-backed startup – plans to float 10-11 percent of its post-IPO equity on the prime standard section of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the form of new shares, with existing stockholders to retain their own.
In a release on Wednesday, the company, known officially as Zalando SE, said the move was to finance long-term corporate growth. The IPO will happen at some point in 2014, “depending on the stock market environment.”
Current shareholders include Investment AB Kinnevik (36 percent), Global Founders (17 percent), Anders Holch Povlsen (10 percent), DST Europe (8 percent) and Holtzbrinck Ventures (8 percent).
In a statement, Rubin Ritter – a member of the Zalando board – said: “Going onto the stock market was the next logical step in Zalando’s development, since it gives us – through the inclusion of additional equity capital – the flexibility necessary to pursue our long-term growth ambitions.”
According to Bloomberg, the deal may see the company valued at €4-5 billion. Zalando, meanwhile, has also secured a five-year €200 million credit line to be used for general purposes.
The company recently posted its first ever operating profit in Q2 of 2014, with its EBIT – earnings before interest and taxes – hitting break even in the year as a whole on sales of €1.02 to 1.06 billion, compared to a loss of 9 percent in the first six months of last year.
Meanwhile, the move marks a significant milestone for Berlin’s startup scene, which so far has been lacking a big-name tech IPO.