Just Eat considers Grubhub sale as order numbers shrink

Just Eat Takeaway.com has said it is considering selling off its Grubhub arm after a slump in orders.

The takeaway delivery specialist only bought its US rival in a £5.75 billion deal in 2020 but has recently faced calls from one of its biggest shareholders to offload the business.

Activist investor Cat Rock Capital, which owns an almost 7% stake in the company, said last year that selling Grubhub would deal with Just Eat’s “deep and damaging” undervaluation.

Just Eat told shareholders on Wednesday that it is working with advisers to explore the possible sale of Grubhub or the potential “introduction of a strategic partner”.

“There can be no certainty that any such strategic actions will be agreed or what the timing of such agreements will be,” the company said.

It came as Just Eat said orders dropped by 1% to 264.2 million in the first three months of 2022 as it struggled against pandemic-boosted levels from last year.

Meanwhile, gross transaction values increased by 4% to 7.2 billion euros (£6 billion), representing a slowdown in growth.

As a result, it reduced its transaction value and earnings forecasts for the year.

Just Eat said growth in the current quarter is expected to “remain challenging” but stressed that returning customer numbers and order frequency have been above pre-pandemic levels.

Chief executive Jitse Groen said: “After two years of exceptional growth, we maintain the same high level of orders that were processed during the Covid-19 restrictions.

“Our priority for 2022 lies in enhancing profitability and strengthening our business.

“We expect profitability to gradually improve throughout the year, and to return to positive adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) in 2023.”