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German web meal firm HelloFresh valued at $2.9 bln ahead of possible listing

FRANKFURT, Sept 17 (Reuters) - HelloFresh has been valued at 2.6 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in a funding round ahead of a possible stock market listing, the German online meal preparation firm said on Thursday.

British investor Baillie Gifford bought a stake for 75 million euros, the Berlin-based company said. That transaction raised the implied value of the firm from an earlier figure of 600 million euros from a previous funding round in spring, it added.

HelloFresh also said it was considering an initial public offering (IPO), but gave no timeframe.

But sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the start-up, 57-percent owned by Rocket Internet (Other OTC: RCKZF - news) , may launch an IPO by October as it seeks to capitalise on investor appetite for the internet food market.

HelloFresh has 250,000 regular subscribers, serving over four million meals a month in countries ranging from the United States and Germany to Britain and the Benelux nations.

U.S (Other OTC: UBGXF - news) . peer Blue Apron, which sells 3 million meals per month, in June secured funding which valued it at more than $2 billion.

HelloFresh, founded in 2011, posted revenues of around 70 million euros in 2014. No profit figures have been released.

($1 = 0.8846 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Pravin Char)