After major investor Kinnevik sold half of its stake in Rocket Internet, shares in the German ecommerce company fell 14 percent on Thursday. The day before, the Swedish investor sold a 6.6 percent stake in Rocket Internet.
Kinnevik owned a 13 percent stake in Rocket Internet, making it the biggest investor in the German ecommerce company aside from the 38 percent stake from founders and brothers brothers Oliver, Alexander and Marc Samwer.
In May last year, two supervisory board members from Kinnevik stepped down, following a clash with Rocket over the valuations of some of their joint investments. But according to sources, Kinnevik CEO Lorenzo Grabau and Rocket CEO Oliver Samwer have disagreed over strategy for much longer.
Grabau was already replaced as chairman of the board in December 2015 and according to him, this was because Rocket moved from being a pure internet incubator to an investment firm in online companies. And this business model looks very similar to Kinnevik’s.
And now Kinnevik placed approximately 10.9 million shares (half of what Kinnevik owns) in Rocket Internet to institutional investors. This move eventually led to Rocket’s shares plunging 14 percent.