In a lightning-fast finish to the drawn-out saga of Grubhub's (NYSE:GRUB) negotiations with Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) over a merger, the food delivery service turned down Uber's advances and accepted an offer from Just Eat Takeaway.com (LSE:JET) in the space of less than 24 hours. Investors seem pleased by the news, with Grubhub's stock already up nearly 5% in Thursday morning trading.
The move is Just Eat's second major acquisition for the year, which kicked off with its acquisition of Takeaway.com for $7.8 billion in January. While Just Eat had a strong food delivery presence in Europe, Australia, Canada, and Central and South America, combining with Grubhub gives the company its first foothold in the United States.
Grubhub's CEO Matt Maloney, who has known Just Eat Takeaway's CEO Jitse Groen for 13 years, claims speculation his company turned down Uber's offer based on fears of antitrust action are unfounded. Maloney, speaking to CNBC, declared Just Eat Takeaway's offer was "dramatically better."
Maloney added, "There was no comparison in terms of economics, there was no comparisons in terms of confidence to get the deal done and here we are and we can continue executing our aggressive financial competitive strategy and win." The all-stock, zero-cash transaction will "create the world's largest online food delivery company outside of China, measured by Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and revenues," according to a joint statement by Grubhub and its new partner.
The actual closing will happen in the first quarter of 2021. Maloney will continue to head the combined enterprise's U.S. operations and will join Just Eat Takeaway.com's management board.