(new: denial, minus slightly reduced, new analyst opinion, price and market value classifications)

FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX Broker) - The impasse over the planned sale of activities in Southeast Asia caused strong price fluctuations at Delivery Hero on Friday. The price of the food delivery service plummeted to a record low at times with a discount of up to 13 percent following a media report about allegedly failed negotiations. However, the share price stabilized somewhat after it was announced that negotiations were continuing. The rumors were false, Delivery Hero said.

However, at the latest price of 19.59 euros, the discount was still nine percent. The shares thus continued their rapid slide. At times on Friday, they were priced at just 18.62 euros, significantly less than at the time of the IPO in 2017, when the shares were issued at 25.50 euros. A year ago, the shares were still three times as expensive at up to 57.82 euros. Last year, they were the biggest MDax loser, down 44%. In 2024, they have lost another fifth of their value.

Traders cited a report in the "Business Times" from Singapore, according to which a deal to sell parts of the Foodpanda business in Southeast Asia had fallen through due to differing price expectations, as the impetus for the share price slide. The sum demanded by Delivery Hero was considered too high by the Singaporean prospective buyer Grab Holdings, the report said, citing insiders.

Analyst Giles Thorne from Jefferies expressed his surprise in an initial reaction to the denial, as he had previously firmly believed in a sale this year. A deal would fundamentally change Delivery Hero's financial profile and make the food delivery service a more investable company again.

Thorne emphasized that should the impasse continue, the existing liquidity and the current cash inflow would guarantee the company financial flexibility. Nevertheless, the equity of the food delivery service will inevitably suffer under the burden of its balance sheet. Andrew Ross from the British Barclays Bank believes in his core scenario that the balance sheet will remain manageable even without the transaction. He sees the presentation of figures on February 14 as a hugely important event.

Asia is the most important, but also a difficult region for Delivery Hero. As already known, the Group intends to divest businesses in South East Asia on the way to achieving its profitability targets. The company intends to divest its activities in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Instead, the Middle East and North Africa region is increasingly coming to the fore.

Delivery Hero recently sold its stake in the British food delivery service Deliveroo, albeit at a loss of millions.

The events have left a deep mark on Delivery Hero's market value. During the coronavirus pandemic, the share price temporarily exceeded 145 euros due to the high demand for food deliveries. At the time, Delivery Hero was worth almost 40 billion euros on the stock exchange and the stock was temporarily listed on the DAX. The stock market value is now only 5.4 billion euros. The largest shareholder is the Dutch investment holding Prosus, which holds almost 30 percent of the shares./tih/edh/jha/stk