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Investors want a bite of Just Eat as Delivery Hero sells German business to rival for US$1bn

Consolidation has been a key part of the food delivery sector over the past year or so, a trend that is expected to continue as firms battle it out for dominance
takeaway food
Just Eat drops out of the FTSE 100 on Monday after a disappointing year for its shares

Investors were hungry for Just Eat PLC (LON:JE.) shares on Friday following more consolidation in the food delivery sector.

Delivery Hero, the world’s biggest online food delivery firm, has agreed to sell its German business to rival Takeaway.com for US$1.1bn (€930mln).

READ: Just Eat to drop out of FTSE 100

It ends a long struggle for supremacy in the German market, where both sides have spent heavily to try to build market share and topple the other.

Takeaway is paying €508mln in cash, with Delivery Hero also receiving 9.5mln shares worth €422mln, giving it an 18% stake in the enlarged company.

Assuming the deal is rubberstamped by shareholders, the number of orders placed through Takeaway’s apps and site will double to 47mln a year.

Consolidation has been a key factor in the industry over the past 18 months.

Competition is intense across Europe, but analysts only expect a handful of companies to be highly profitable which has led to something of a land grab.

Just Eat, which drops out of the FTSE 100 on Monday, bought Hungryhouse from Delivery Hero for £200mln earlier this year, while Delivery Hero has itself bought assets from fellow German e-commerce player, Rocket Internet.

READ: Why an Uber and Deliveroo merger could spell the end for Just Eat

Uber Eats and Deliveroo, two relatively new businesses with plenty of financial firepower, are yet to make any significant acquisitions, opting instead to invest heavily into their own platforms.

That said, reports back in October suggested Uber was eyeing up a move for Deliveroo as it looks to take a stranglehold on the UK market.

Just Eat shares were up 4.6% to 597.8p on Friday morning.

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