29. June 2021 | 13:23 CET
Steinhoff International, Aspermont, Bike24 - Endless possibilities
Do you remember the last few years of the past millennium, when Amazon was ridiculed for trying to sell books over the Internet? Now, around 20 years later, there are hardly any goods that can no longer be purchased on the World Wide Web. The transformation from off to online is already well advanced. Even magazines or books are increasingly read on tablets these days. Digitization offers endless opportunities for media companies to scale their original business model, with massive potential for the respective companies.
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ISIN: STEINHOFF INT.HLDG.EO-_50 | NL0011375019 , ASPERMONT LTD | AU000000ASP3 , Bike24 Holding AG | DE000A3CQ7F4
The transformation into the leading media service provider for the global commodity industry is already complete. With a five-year plan, Aspermont, which gained notoriety for publishing the two oldest publications for the mining sector, Mining Journal and Mining Magazine, started its transformation into a global online B2B service provider.
The digital transformation strategy included introducing an "anything as a service" (XaaS) model for B2B media, distributing high-quality content to a growing global audience for a fee. Through its long history, Aspermont has over 7.5 million registered contacts from the mining, energy and agriculture segments. These are now to be integrated and monetized step by step into the XaaS model. In addition to industry news, customers will also be offered premium services such as research, data and live or virtual events. Payment runs via a multi-level, personalized flat-rate model.
Since 2016, the average annual growth in monthly active users has been 23%. In addition to the subscription business, which is expected to continue growing, Aspermont plans to generate more brands and products and push for expansion into South America, India and, primarily, China. Currently, the Australians have 7.5 million cash at their disposal with a steadily increasing positive cash flow. The Company intends to invest this cash successively in new business areas. In addition to a financing platform, proactive management is considering the development of a trading platform and e-learning. Due to the very high and pointed customer base, the Company has the best prerequisites to scale the business to new heights through cross-selling measures. The stock market valuation is currently EUR 40 million. Thus, Aspermont offers a potential multiplication opportunity in the long term.
Figures okay, but...!
If it were only according to the figures published last week, all would be well at Steinhoff International. Accordingly, the globally operating furniture group reported an "outstanding development of all operating divisions" for the first quarter. Despite the still-swelling Corona pandemic, Greenlit Brands and Mattress Firm came in with sales growth of nearly 30%, while Pepkor Africa grew 8% in the period. Pepco, which was recently floated on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, also saw its sales rise 9% on a local currency basis.
The main problem for the troubled retail group, which is still suffering from the December 2017 accounting scandal, is the ongoing litigation. The all-important date for the group will now be September 3, 2021, when the creditors' meeting will decide whether to accept the settlement proposal. The Amsterdam District Court thus ruled in favor of Steinhoff's request to postpone the meeting, which was initially set for June 30, 2021. It is presumed that the time will be used to reach an out-of-court solution with the disputing creditor parties. From a fundamental perspective, an investment in Steinhoff International resembles a lottery game.
Successful stock market debut in a booming market
Before Corona, would you have thought that Germany would become a bicycle country? As a result of the closures around the lockdowns, the two-wheeler has been rediscovered. Demand for bicycles virtually exploded during the Corona pandemic. According to industry data, a total of 5 million bikes were sold in 2020, and the trend continues unabated. Demand is increasing supply and, due to the interrupted supply chains, delivery times of more than a year are currently the order of the day, especially for individual parts such as brakes or gears.
The online bicycle dealer Bike24 has now taken advantage of this boom to venture onto the Frankfurt stock exchange. And the stock exchange debut of the Dresden-based Company was crowned with success. Issue proceeds of EUR 322 million were raised at a price of EUR 15. Yesterday the quotation was already at EUR 16.48. Bike24 intends to use the capital raised to accelerate its expansion into France and Italy. In 2020, the turnover, in which among others the financial investors Riverside and Rocket Internet are involved, was EUR 200 million. According to the management, the goal is to become Europe's leading e-commerce platform for everything to do with bicycles.