Just Eat Takeaway.com exploring sale of Grubhub less than year after acquisition

Just Eat Takeaway.com exploring sale of Grubhub less than year after acquisition

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Just Eat Takeaway.com NV today said that it’s exploring a sale of food delivery app Grubhub, which it acquired for $7.3 billion in a deal that closed less than a year ago.

Publicly traded Just Eat Takeaway.com is a major player in the food delivery market. The Netherlands-based company emerged from the 2019 merger of Takeaway.com NV rival Just Eat Plc. The company processes more than 260 million food deliveries per quarter across the more than a dozen countries where it operates.

Just Eat Takeaway.com last year acquired food delivery app Grubhub for $7.3 billion to expand its presence in the U.S. During the bidding process, the company faced competition from Uber Technologies Inc., which had also sought to buy Grubhub. Uber eventually scrapped its acquisition bid, reportedly because of concerns that that a deal could draw regulatory scrutiny.

Just Eat Takeaway.com disclosed that it’s exploring a sale of Grubhub this morning in an update to shareholders. Separately, Just Eat Takeaway.com Chief Executive Officer Jitse Groen told Reuters that multiple potential bidders have expressed interest in buying the subsidiary. But the CEO cautioned that a deal is not guaranteed to happen. 

The news comes a few months after Grubhub came under pressure from investment firm Cat Rock Capital, which has a 6.5% stake in the company, to sell Grubhub. Cat Rock Capital has argued that the company is “vulnerable to takeover bids well below its long-term intrinsic value.”

Shares of Just Eat Takeaway.com have lost about two-thirds of their value over the past year amid a slowdown in the food delivery market that is also affecting competitors. The company told shareholders today that “growth in the second quarter of 2022 will remain challenging.” In the full 2022 fiscal year, Just Eat Takeaway Inc. anticipates that the gross value of transactions processed through its platform will grow “mid-single-digit year-on-year,” slower than previously expected.

Just Eat Takeaway.com told shareholders that improving profitability is one of its main priorities this year. The company is hoping to achieve positive EBITSA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, in 2023. As part of its longer-term growth plan, Just Eat Takeaway.com is expanding its focus beyond restaurant deliveries to the grocery delivery market. 

The funds that the company may raise through a potential future sale of Grubhub could help it accelerate growth efforts. Today, Just Eat Takeaway.com detailed that its long-term goals include increasing the gross value of transactions processed through its platform by 30 billion euros over the next five years. Additionally, the company hopes to increase its adjusted EBITDA margin to more than 5% of gross transaction value.

Image: Just Eat Takeaway.com

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