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Zalando May Become a Target of Amazon or Alibaba

Jan-Patrick Barnert
Zalando May Become a Target of Amazon or Alibaba

(Bloomberg) -- A halving of Zalando SE’s share price since July’s peak could put the online fashion retailer in the cross hairs of Amazon.com Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. or even Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz AB, according to a Baader Helvea analyst.

While two reductions of its sales forecast in six weeks sent the stock into a tailspin, Zalando retains many attractions including a market leading online fashion platform, the data of more than 25 million customers and more than 2.5 billion customer website visits per year, Baader Helvea’s Volker Bosse said in a note.

Given that the company’s shareholder structure is dominated by finance investors, “we see the potential that these investors could sell if the offered price is right,” wrote Bosse, who has a buy recommendation on the stock.

His note gave a much-needed boost to Zalando shares, whose descent has brought the 2014 initial public offering price back into view. The stock was up 3.5 percent at 26.35 euros as of midday in Frankfurt, compared with the IPO price of 21.50 euros.

After spending time with the company on a two-day roadshow, Bosse said Zalando’s transition from an online store toward a marketplace and infrastructure provider for the fashion industry is paying off.

Any bidder would be catapulted to the position of Europe’s No. 1 online fashion house overnight and that at a very cheap price, with Zalando’s valuation showing a 35 percent discount to peers, he wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jan-Patrick Barnert in Frankfurt at jbarnert3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net, Paul Jarvis

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