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Denmark’s “youngest fashion billionaire” invests in Zalando

Zalando logistics

Zalando logistics

UPDATE Danish fashion magnate Anders Holch Povlsen, described by Forbes last year as "Denmark's newest, youngest fashion billionaire", has agreed to acquire 10 per cent of Zalando soon after increasing his company's stake in another online fashion giant, Asos.

Povlsen, in his very early 40s, has led his family's fashion retail company Bestseller, active in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Canada, since 2001. As of March 2013, Povlsen – through Bestseller – also holds about 28 per cent of Asos.

The purchase price for Povlsen's new investment in Zalando is undisclosed. Taking the company's most recent valuation of about €2.9bn euros, the deal is likely to be worth at least €290m. The company, active in 14 European markets, is yet to turn a profit but reached more than €1.15bn in revenue in 2012.

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Tempted to speculate on takeover plans? Asos CEO Nick Robertson said in a recent interview that he doesn't believe Bestseller is interested in ownership, not of that company at least. "I'd like to think they are not in it to own the business, but to be a part of it," he said. "They are one of our top two or three suppliers."

Bestseller and Zalando have worked together "very successfully" for several years, Zalando co-founder David Schneider said today. The shares to be sold to Povlsen will come from Zalando's early investors European Founders Fund (EFF), Holtzbrinck and Tengelmann. The transaction still needs a sign-off by the German Federal Cartel Office.

Rocket Internet exits Zalando

The deal marks the technical exit of the Samwer brothers' incubator Rocket Internet from the company it helped found in 2008. The incubator passed its 36 per cent stake to its own investors Kinnevik, the Samwers' long-standing investment vehicle EFF and Access IndustriesFollowing the deal, Zalando's ownership is as follows:

Investment AB Kinnevik: 37 per cent
European Founders Fund: 18 per cent
Anders Holch Povlsen: 10 per cent
DST Global: 9 per cent
Holtzbrinck Ventures: 8 per cent
Tengelmann Ventures: 6 per cent
Others: 12 per cent

Article updated 5pm CET 13 August 2013 – Rocket Internet most recently held a 36 per cent stake of Zalando, not a nine per cent stake as we first reported.


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