USA/The Netherlands: Just Eat considers sale of GrubHub

Just Eat "world’s largest online food delivery company outside of China” is exploring a sale of its U.S. subsidiary GrubHub. Founder and Chief Executive Jitse Groen said Wednesday after the company posted a first quarter trading update, he is considering a full or partial sale of Grubhub, barely one year after the purchase of the company in an all-stock deal valued at USD 7.3B was completed.

The company has faced growing calls to divest its Grubhub division from prominent shareholders including Cat Rock Capital’s founder and managing partner Alex Captain, who owns about 6.5% of the company.

The Amsterdam-based online food delivery company reported a 1% decline in online food orders globally in the first quarter of this year mainly driven by a 5% drop in orders in North America, its largest market. North America accounts for more than a third of all food deliveries of Just Eat that operates in in 23 countries, including the U.K., central Europe, Brazil, Israel, and Australia.

The company was founded in Amsterdam/Netherlands in 2000 and has emerged in recent years as a result of several takeovers of larger competitors abroad, like 2014 Lieferando in Germany, 2017 10bis in Israel, 2018 Foodarena in Switzerland, 2019 Just Eat in the UK and 2020 GrubHub in the United States.

In March, Grubhub was the third largest online food delivery service in the US by volume, capturing a market share of about 10%. Two years ago, in April 2020, GrubHub still captured 17% of the market, down from about 29% in January 2019.

 DoorDash and UberEats that swallowed its US rival Postmates in a USD 2.65 billion all-stock takeover in 2020 (, 6.7.2020) achieved 59% and 30% in March, respectively.

Especially Uber Eats that benefits from Uber drivers, who can quickly switch between passenger to food on their app, could be interested in GrubHub. In 2020 Uber Eats failed to buy GrubHub after one year of intensive talks. Instead Just Eat won the race.

As it stands, this was just a stage win for the Dutch company, as Uber Eats will most likely be ahead again in the long run.

The market for online food delivery is in the stage of consolidation with many firms having a hard time in the stock market after the hoped-for end of the pandemic. The share price of Berlin-based Delivery Hero is down 73% in the last year, while London-based Deliveroo has fallen 56% thus making them vulnerable for a possible take-over.

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