Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

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Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

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Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate. OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply […]

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Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

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BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

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Categorized | Financial

Samwer brothers eye €3bn Rocket flotation

Posted on May 31, 2014

Three German brothers famous for copying Silicon Valley start-ups are aiming to float their investment vehicle with a desired valuation of between €3bn and €5bn.

Rocket Internet, founded by Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer, has appointed Berenberg, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan to evaluate a potential offering in Frankfurt, two people familiar with the situation said. 

    The move could be one of Europe’s most controversial ecommerce offerings, with venture capitalists having criticised Rocket as a clone factory that hinders innovation. 

    However, the business has emphasised its central technology platform, which has allowed it to launch fast-growing online marketplaces and payments companies in Latin America, Africa and Asia, regions it argues are neglected by major global players. 

    “There are three ecommerce companies in the world – Amazon, Alibaba, and us,” Oliver Samwer, the middle brother who is Rocket’s main executive, told the FT in 2013. 

    A mix of an incubator and a venture fund, Rocket’s investments include transport service Easy Taxi and takeaway provider Foodpanda. 

    One person familiar with its plans cautioned that the listing might not happen, with the company having previously raised funds from private investors. 

    Another person familiar with the company said Rocket may be better off remaining private and building its business further, rather than rushing to do a listing as interest in technology IPOs has cooled in recent months. 

    The potential listing was first reported by Bloomberg. Rocket, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Berenberg could not immediately be reached for comment. 

    Last year Rocket said it had raised nearly $2bn within two years from backers including Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and Access Industries, the investment vehicle of US billionaire Len Blavatnik. 

    A 2012 investment round valued Rocket at about €3bn, although at that time its assets included equity in online retailer Zalando. That stake was subsequently transferred to Kinnevik, Access Industries and the Samwers’ European Founders Fund. 

    Opting for an IPO would mark a change of strategy for the Samwers, who had previously sold their companies to bigger US rivals such as eBay and online discounts provider Groupon. 

    As part of one of those deals, Oliver and Marc received shares in Groupon that were valued at $1bn when the company floated. 

    An IPO of Rocket could lead to a further windfall for the brothers, as well as their backers including Kinnevik and Access Industries. 

    Kinnevik’s shares more than doubled last year on optimism about its links to Rocket’s companies, although they have slipped subsequently. 

    Investors have shown varying appetite for ecommerce listings. In the UK, shares in white goods seller AO World and clothes retailer have dropped steadily since floating earlier this year. 

    Rocket announced this month that Goldman Sachs partner Peter Kimpel would join as its chief financial officer.