Jumia Technologies, a pan-African e-commerce platform led by French businessman Jeremy Hodara, has seen its market capitalization rise by $250.7 million in 17 days.
The news comes as buying interest in the e-commerce giant increases following reports that Nigerian tech tycoon, Zinox Group Founder Leo Stan Ekeh might be planning to take over the company.
Jumia’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange have increased in price by more than 50 percent since rumors of the takeover bid were first reported 17 days ago, driven by sustained investor buying interest amid a widespread sell-off of tech company shares worldwide.
Although Ekeh has not officially confirmed or denied the bid, data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that Jumia’s share price on the NYSE increased from $4.78 to $7.29 on May 29, representing a 52.5-percent gain for shareholders of the African e-commerce company.
As a result of the uptick, Jumia’s market cap rose to $728 million, up from $477.4 million 17 days ago, as investors renewed buying interest in the company after its share price fell below $5.
This translates to a $250.7-million increase in Jumia’s market cap in a little over two weeks.
In response to media reports that Ekeh, who owns Zinox Technologies, has been quietly amassing Jumia shares four years since acquiring Konga, a rival to his e-commerce firm Yudala, Zinox Group Head of Corporate Communications Gideon Ayogu said his company has no knowledge of such a transaction and therefore cannot officially confirm or deny rumors of a potential takeover.
Apart from the positive sentiment sparked by the rumors of a possible takeover, some market participants believe that a strategic partnership deal recently inked between UPS, a U.S. multinational shipping and supply chain management company, and Jumia has also played a key role in the surge in the pan-African e-commerce company’s market cap.
UPS will use Jumia’s robust last-mile logistics capabilities and infrastructure to expand its delivery services in Africa as part of the agreement.
Customers will be able to choose from a wider range of delivery options, including gate package delivery and collection, as well as a variety of payment options.