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Grubhub to merge with Europe’s Just Eat Takeaway after failed Uber talks

Grubhub has announced a planned merger with Europe-based Just Eat Takeaway that will make it the world’s largest online food delivery company outside of China.

It comes after several months of talks between Grubhub and Uber (Uber Eats) fell through over apparent regulatory concerns.

The deal, in which Just Eat Takeaway agreed to acquire Grubhub for $7.3 billion in stock, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Assuming it gets the nod from regulators and also both sets of shareholders, Grubhub founder and CEO Matt Maloney will join Just Eat Takeaway’s management board and take the reins of the combined business in North America, while two Grubhub directors will join Just Eat Takeaway’s supervisory board.

The Grubhub-Just Eat Takeaway deal will of course face scrutiny from regulators, though likely less than a Grubhub-UberEats deal would have prompted as Just Eat Takeaway has no presence in the United States, which operates in Europe and a handful of other countries.

Together, Grubhub, which launched in 2004, and Just Eat Takeaway, which only recently came into being after Dutch player Takeaway (founded 2000) acquired U.K. rival Just Eat (founded 2001) earlier this year, processed around 593 million orders in 2019 with more than 70 million combined active customers globally.

“Like so many other entrepreneurs, we started modestly — restaurant by restaurant in our Chicago neighborhood,” Maloney said. “Combining the companies that started it all will mean that two trailblazing startups have become a clear global leader. We could not be more excited.”

Just Eat Takeaway CEO and founder Jitse Groen commented: “Matt and I are the two remaining food delivery veterans in the sector, having started our respective businesses at the turn of the century, albeit on two different continents. I am excited that we can create the world’s largest food delivery business outside China.”

The merger comes at a busy time for the online food delivery business as stay-at-home orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic led to a huge uptick in the use of the services. It looks set to give Grubhub a boost in its efforts to take on its biggest rival, DoorDash, which controlled about 35% of the food delivery market toward the end of 2019. For Uber Eats, meanwhile, it could mean more intense competition from a bolstered rival. How the jostling for dominance will affect pricing for customers remains to be seen.

Digital Trends has reached out to both Grubhub and Just Eat Takeaway for more information on what the deal means and we will update this article when we hear back.

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Trevor Mogg
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