Rocket Internet has agreed to sell a 9.1% stake, on a fully diluted basis, in Lazada for US$137 million. Founded in 2012, Lazada is the one-stop e-commerce gateway for local and international sellers and brands to the consumers in six distinct South-east Asian markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Lazada and Alibaba have also entered into a transaction that includes Alibaba’s investment of US$500 million in Lazada. Alibaba will become the controlling shareholder of Lazada after the transaction. The transaction equates to an equity valuation of Lazada at US$1.5 billion.
Said Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada: “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 e-commerce ecosystem in South-east 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.”
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 15 times multiple of Rocket Internet’s total invested capital of EUR18 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 12-18-month period post closing of the transaction.
Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet, commented: “This transaction is a key milestone for Lazada as it underlines its position as a 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 e-commerce franchise in South-east Asia.”