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Kinnevik sells final 227m euro stake in Rocket Internet

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Kinnevik AB is selling its remaining 227.7 million euro (S$354.2 million) stake in Rocket Internet SE, bringing to a close a volatile relationship between the Swedish investment firm and the German startup factory.

[LONDON] Kinnevik AB is selling its remaining 227.7 million euro (S$354.2 million) stake in Rocket Internet SE, bringing to a close a volatile relationship between the Swedish investment firm and the German startup factory.

Kinnevik has begun an accelerated book-building process to institutional investors of around 10.9 million existing shares in Rocket, which constitutes 6.6 per cent of the German company's issued share capital, according to a statement from Kinnevik Wednesday. Berenberg Bank is acting as sole bookrunner in transaction.

The move from Kinnevik follows an earlier sell-down in February, when it sold a stake valued at around 209 million euros, then around half its stake.  While Rocket's shares are up around 9.6 per cent year to date, they are down just over 50 per cent since the company listed in October 2014.

Kinnevik first invested in Rocket in 2009 after Chief Executive Officer Oliver Samwer cultivated a link with Kinnevik's principal owner, Cristina Stenbeck, heiress to the Swedish firm that traces its roots to the 1930s. The Stockholm-based fund invested hundreds of millions of euros in Rocket and Zalando SE, the online apparel retailer that went public in 2014 and was backed by Rocket.

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The relationship began to fray in 2015 when Mr Samwer started a venture fund to co-invest in late-stage technology companies alongside Rocket. Then Kinnevik CEO Lorenzo Grabau told Mr Samwer the fund would present a conflict. Last year, Kinnevik's two representatives left Rocket's board.

BLOOMBERG

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