Online retailer Zalando could be in Amazon’s crosshairs

Analyst note points to halving of online fashion outlet’s share price as the impetus for potential takeover

Zalando retains many attractions, including a market-leading online fashion platform, the data of more than 25m customers and more than 2.5bn   customer website visits per year

Zalando retains many attractions, including a market-leading online fashion platform, the data of more than 25m customers and more than 2.5bn customer website visits per year

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A halving of Zalando SE’s share price since July’s peak could put the online fashion retailer in the crosshairs of Amazon. com, Alibaba Group Holding or even Sweden’s H&M, 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 Mr 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 per cent at €26.35 as of midday in Frankfurt, compared with the IPO price of €21.50.

After spending time with the company on a two-day roadshow, Mr Bosse said Zalando’s transition from an online store toward a marketplace and infrastructure provider for the fashion industry was 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 per cent discount to peers, he wrote. – Bloomberg

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