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Zalando fashion retailer plans stock market listing this year


Europe's biggest online fashion retailer Zalando said on Wednesday it is planning to go public on the Frankfurt stock exchange in the second half of this year.

"Zalando SE is planning an initial public offering (IPO) on the regulated or prime standard market of the Frankfurt stock exchange," the German retailer -- which was set up just six years ago -- said in a statement.

"Depending on the market environment, the IPO will take place in the second half of the 2014."

Zalando said it was aiming for 10-11 percent of its share capital to be listed once the IPO is completed. The offering will be via the issue of new shares.

"The existing Zalando shareholders will hold on to their stakes and will not sell them as part of the offering," the statement said.

Founded in 2008, Zalando is a direct competitor of US online retailer Amazon, and posted a turnover of 1.8 billion euros last year.

In the first six months of this year, it booked a tiny profit of 0.2 million euros on sales of 1.05 billion euros.

"Reaching break-even in the first half of 2014 is an important milestone which underlines the attractiveness of our business model," said Zalando board member Rubin Ritter.

"Going public is the next logical step in Zalando's development, as it provides us with the necessary flexibility to pursue our long-term expansion plans," Ritter said.

The company's five biggest shareholders are currently Investment AB Kinnevik (Other OTC: KINNF - news) with 36 percent, Global Founders with 17 percent, Anders Holch Povlsen with 10 percent, DST Europe with 8.0 percent and Holtzbrinck Ventures also with 8.0 percent.

Zalando is present in 15 countries, including France and Belgium. While it initially started off selling just shoes in 2008, it now offers full range of clothing and fashion items from 1,500 different brands.

According to a German television documentary earlier this year, however, working conditions for company's employees are tough with workers in its logistics centre walking up to 27 kilometres (17 miles) on an eight-hour shift to fetch and carry the items for customer orders.