Rocket Internet is steadily exiting its Amazon clones in emerging markets including Africa and South East Asia. Last week it sold some stake to Orange Group. Today the firm today sold a 9.1% stake, on a fully diluted basis, in Lazada, its Amazon for South East Asia for USD 137 million.
Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet, commented: “This transaction is a key milestone for Lazada as it underlines its position as leading online platform in South-East Asia. Alibaba as the new major shareholder is further strengthening this position and provides the basis for significant future growth given Alibaba’s strong strategic position in the region. We are looking forward to working with Alibaba and the existing Lazada shareholders to support Lazada in building the leading ecommerce franchise in South East Asia.”
Founded in 2012, Lazada operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore Thailand and Vietnam. Rocket Internet saw Alibaba invest USD 500 million in Lazada for a majority stake at USD 1.5 billion valuation.
Rocket Internet’s remaining fully diluted stake after the transaction and taking into account Alibaba’s investment of new funds is 8.8%.
The valuation of Rocket Internet’s stake represents an approximately 15x multiple of Rocket Internet’s total invested capital of EUR 18 million.
Shareholders, including Rocket Internet, have also entered into a put-call arrangement with Alibaba, giving the buyer the right to purchase, and the shareholders the right to sell collectively, their remaining stakes at fair market value within the 12 to 18 month period post closing of the transaction.
Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada added, “we are very excited about joining forces with Alibaba and see significant synergies that will drive great benefits to our customers, sellers, brands and the broader eCommerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia. The transaction will help us to accelerate our goal to provide the 550 million consumers in the region access to the broadest and most unique assortment range.”