Grubhub, Just Eat Takeaway complete sale that spans the Atlantic

The deal brings together major operators in food delivery, one in the United States and the other dominant in Europe.

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The Grubhub app on an iPhone in 2018.

The Grubhub app on an iPhone.

AP file

Just Eat completed its acquisition of Chicago-based Grubhub, the companies said Tuesday, sealing a deal aimed at establishing a dominant global player in food delivery.

As part of the changeover, Grubhub said its founder and CEO, Matt Maloney, will join Just Eat Takeaway’s management board. It also said Adam DeWitt has been promoted to Grubhub CEO. He had been its president and CFO.

Maloney is expected to concentrate on the new company’s North American operations, which will be based in Chicago. Grubhub has 1,200 employees in Chicago, and layoffs related to the sale are not expected to be large as the companies have little geographic overlap.

Amsterdam-based Just Eat Takeaway describes itself as the market leader in Europe, Canada and Australia. Grubhub’s business is in the United States.

When the sale was announced in June 2020, it was worth about $7.3 billion. But Just Eat Takeaway’s shares have declined since then, and the deal now appears to be worth about $5.1 billion.

The deal comes amid ongoing criticism of the commissions food delivery companies charge restaurants. To help restaurants earlier in the pandemic, the Chicago City Council enacted a 15% cap on delivery fees that has expired. Other cities approved similar measures.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed extending the Chicago cap through Dec. 31.

The companies, who hire drivers for gig work, argue that they help restaurants by bringing them new business. Grubhub has been reporting large increases in quarterly revenues coupled with greater financial losses.

The Grubhub brand name will continue in the United States. A spokeswoman said its signature red color will change to Just Eat Takeaway’s orange.

Grubhub was founded in 2004 and grew from an office in Bucktown.

Maloney said the combined companies “are well positioned and poised for further success, with a shared purpose in serving our restaurant partners.” DeWitt said, “Grubhub will now have greater flexibility to make strategic, long-term investment decisions than before. We are laser focused on being the platform of choice for diners, restaurants and drivers.”

Grubhub stockholders have received shares representing a 30% interest in the new Just Eat Takeaway, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its dollar-denominated American Depositary Shares are listed on Nasdaq under Grubhub’s former ticker symbol, GRUB.

The companies also said two Grubhub directors, Lloyd Frink and David Fisher, have joined the Just Eat Takeaway board.

Grubhub founder Matt Maloney at an event with then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012.

Grubhub founder Matt Maloney at an event with then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012.

Sun-Times file

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