In a potential hint at what the U.S. delivery market might look like in a couple years, Takeaway has acquired Just Eat for $7.8 billion in an all-stock deal.
Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com is at the final step before integrating operations with the U.K. operator. As of a year ago, Takeaway was the sixth-largest global operator with delivery networks in Poland, Belgium, Vietnam and its home in the Netherlands. Just Eat was ranked No. 4 globally. The merger would create the largest European delivery firm with nearly 120,000 restaurants covered across dozens of countries.
After the deal was announced and the stocks were merged, the combined company has a market cap of $12.66 billion. Stocks under the new name, Just Eat Takeaway.com NV are already treading at around $94 since combining on February 3.
The deal raised flags for competitive watchdogs, so the actual integration of the company operations like centralizing orders and rebranding at the driver level are temporarily on hold.
The hang-up seems to be whether Takeaway is planning to reenter the U.K. market without the Just Eat acquisition. There’s no timeline on how long such an inquiry might take. The deal was first announced back in July 2019, but a bidding war with another investment firm dramatically slowed down the process. More than 90 percent of stockholders approved the merger and the company has started a process to buy out the rest.
The news hit both Uber and Grubhub share prices, but not drastically. Uber shares sank by 1 percent and Grubhub fell by 3.1 percent on the day of the announcement. Uber Eats has operations across Europe, and remains insulated by ridesharing but will certainly be more difficult to compete with a more efficient company. For Grubhub, which only does business in London, this means further U.K. expansion will be more difficult.
Of course, there’s also the prospect that one of these European operators will expand into the U.S. Right now, the newly merged company only has North American operations in Canada. So far, none of the European firms seem anxious to battle it out amid the absurd war chests of U.S. delivery giants quite yet.
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