Naspers buys $775m stake in online food service Delivery Hero

2017-09-28 14:07 - Stefan Nicola
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Berlin - Naspers [JSE:NPN] agreed to pay $775m to boost its stake in Germany’s Delivery Hero as Africa’s biggest company increases its exposure to the online food-delivery market.

The media and technology business will buy stock from Rocket Internet at €29.50 a share, it said in a statement on Thursday. That’s a discount of 12% based on Wednesday’s closing price, making the South African company the biggest investor with a stake of 24%.

The deal strengthens Naspers’s position in internet food delivery, with Delivery Hero sitting alongside iFood in Brazil and Swiggy of India in the company’s portfolio. Naspers has become one of the world’s largest investors in e-commerce ventures as it tries to build on the success of its early stage investment in Tencent, which is now worth about $136bn. It’s also Africa’s largest pay-TV provider.

“It’s another company in the developing world portfolio and reinforces the value sitting in Naspers,” Michael Treherne, a money manager at Johannesburg-based Vestact, said by phone.

Naspers shares fell 0.34% to R2 885.45 as of 13:34 in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R1.25trn. Rocket rose 3.5% to €21.38 in Frankfurt, a three-month high, while Delivery Hero fell 0.7%.

Rocket cash-in

Rocket, a Berlin-based startup factory, will retain a 13% shareholding in Delivery Hero and “continues to participate in a large way,” CEO Oliver Samwer said on a call with reporters. The company backed the food service’s successful June initial public offering in Frankfurt.

Delivery Hero competes with app-based takeout services including Just Eat, GrubHub and Takeaway.com and operates in more than 40 countries.

Rocket also reported improving group profitability and smaller second-quarter operating losses at key startups including Global Fashion. The successful IPO of Delivery Hero came as a boost after its other big investment, food-box startup HelloFresh, shelved listing plans in 2015.

* Fin24 is part of 24.com, a division of Media24, which is a subsidiary of Naspers.

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