Zalando May Become a Target of Amazon or Alibaba | News & Analysis

BERLIN, Germany — 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 as of midday in Frankfurt, compared with the IPO price of €21.50.

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.

By Jan-Patrick Barnert; editors: Celeste Perri and Paul Jarvis.

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