Global Fashion Group IPO Mostly Backed by Existing Shareholders

Facing low investor demand, the e-commerce fashion group cut its initial share price from up to €8 to €4.50.

FRANKFURT, Germany — Global Fashion Group (GFG) raised less than half the sum it had originally targeted in an initial public offering of new shares that drew weak investor demand and ended up being mostly backed by its existing shareholders.

GFG said it placed 40 million new shares at a price of €4.50, raising €180 million ($205 million).

Swedish investor Kinnevik, which owns 36.8 percent in GFG, and Germany’s Rocket Internet, with 20.4 percent, bought shares worth €60 million and €50 million (around $57 million and 68 million) respectively.

A further 4 million existing shares were allocated to cover an over-allotment option for banks running the deal. If taken up, proceeds would rise to €198 million, GFG said in a statement.

Capital market conditions had weighed on investor sentiment towards the deal, with truck maker Traton and telecom firm Africa Airtel both slipping in their stock market debuts on Friday.

In a last-ditch effort to salvage the stock market listing, GFG cut the price of its offering on Wednesday to €4.50 a share, from an initial price range of €6 to €8.

GFG had extended the offer period to June 28 and sources told Reuters that cancelling the listing had also been discussed.

The sources said investors had expressed scepticism about investing in the company, which focuses on emerging markets in Latin America and Asia, and operates The Iconic, Zalora, Dafiti and Lamoda platforms.

Investors have been shying away from buying assets backed by Rocket, which is known as a fast follower of successful internet companies rather than as an innovator. Most have lost value after listing, one person familiar with the GFG deal said.

GFG shares are due to start trading in Frankfurt on July 2.

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