JOINING THE index of Germany’s 30 biggest listed companies is usually a cause of celebration for the joiner rather than of controversy. Yet the arrival of Delivery Hero in the DAX 30 on August 24th ignited a fierce debate. How, critics grumble, can a food-delivery company that has never made money or paid a dividend, and no longer even does business in Germany, sit alongside Siemens, a 173-year-old engineering behemoth, and Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, in the elite group of the bluest of German blue chips?
The simple answer is that membership of theDAX is determined mainly by market value and turnover of shares, with no profitability test (unlike America’s S&P 500 index of big firms, which requires four consecutive quarters in the black, among other criteria). And in that respect, Delivery Hero qualifies handily. Niklas Ostberg, its Swedish chief executive, boasts that the firm’s market capitalisation of €18.7bn ($22bn) is higher than that of several DAX members. Its share price has tripled over the past couple of years and it has attracted investments from the world’s richest companies, including Alibaba and Amazon, two global internet giants.
Ironically, a big reason for investors’ enthusiasm is Delivery Hero’s non-German focus. A few years ago it offloaded its German businesses, Foodora, Lieferheld and...
Read the full article here.
This content was originally published by The Economist: Business. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By The Economist: Business