FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Rocket Internet, the global ecommerce investor riding the coattails of last week's successful stock offering by Chinese rival Alibaba, has had its own IPO fully subscribed, underwriters and company officials said on Wednesday.
Rocket Internet, a German venture capital group that has launched dozens of online start-ups worldwide, said late on Tuesday it expected to raise almost double the amount it initially targeted from its IPO, pricing shares to value the firm at some $8 billion.
Speaking at a news conference in Frankfurt, where Rocket shares are set to begin trading on Oct. 9, company co-founder Oliver Samwer said the offering was fully subscribed just an hour after the book-building process with new investors began.
"Our target is to be the leading Internet platform outside the U.S. and China one day. Rocket's best time is yet to come," said Samwer, who is also chief executive.
Founded in 2007 by brothers Oliver, Alexander and Marc Samwer, Rocket Internet has set up e-commerce sites and online marketplaces for everything from taxis to meal deliveries in more than 100 countries. It made revenue of $1 billion in 2013.
The Rocket flotation is coming on the heels of Friday's blockbuster listing of China's Alibaba and amid strong demand for the shares of Zalando, a European fashion site that Rocket helped found, which is set to list next week.
The Berlin-based company set the price in a range of 35.50 to 42.50 euros per share and said it expected gross proceeds of about 1.477 billion euros ($1.9 billion), assuming it places the maximum number of shares at the mid-point of the price range, corresponding to a market capitalisation of 6.2 billion euros.
That is almost double the 750 million euros it said it expected to raise when it announced its listing plans 13 days ago.
The expected proceeds include 582.5 million euros from cornerstone investors, who along with existing shareholders have committed to a 12-month lock-up period. The publicly traded free float excluding existing investors will be 24 percent.
(Reporting by Eric Auchard and Alexander Huebner; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)