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TIMELINE-Just Eat Takeaway Rocky Dealmaking

By Dave Simpson

Amazon AMZN.O has agreed to take a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com's TKWY.AS US meal delivery business Grubhub, bringing major relief to Europe's largest meals company, which has been under fire in recent months over its dealmaking and sagging share price.

Below are the events leading to the deal:

2020:

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January - Dutch food delivery company Takeaway.com wins a prolonged battle for control of British peer Just Eat against Dutch internet conglomerate Prosus PRX.AS. The deal creates Europe's largest online meal delivery company. Read full story

October - Just Eat Takeaway.com says its shareholders approved its proposed purchase of US meal delivery business Grubhub.

2021:

June - Just Eat Takeaway.com completes acquisition of Grubhub for $7.3 billion.

Oct. 15 - Investor Cat Rock increases stake in company to 5.93%.

Oct. 21 - Just Eat Takeaway.com CEO Jitse Groen says he expects Grubhub to eventually be part of a consolidation in the U.S. delivery market, but signals he is not open to selling the business.

Oct. 25 - Investor Cat Rock urges management to consider selling Grubhub, saying divesting or spinning off the unit would improve the company's valuation.

Nov. 10 - Cat Rock repeats its call to divest Grubhub, the day after competitor DoorDash made a big move into European markets with a $8.1 billion purchase of Finland-based Wolt Enterprises OY.

Nov. 17 - Groen says he has no plans to sell Grubhub, but the company is actively looking for strategic partnerships for the business.

December - Cat Rock, the company's second-largest shareholder after Groen, increases stake to 6.88%.

2022:

Feb. 8 - Just Eat Takeaway.com announces it will delist its shares from the Nasdaq stock exchange in a bid to limit costs and regulatory burdens.

Feb.13 - CEO Groen says the decision to de-list from Nasdaq should not be taken as an indication of plans to sell Grubhub.

March - Groen says the company remains in talks to find a strategic partner for Grubhub and that he would be willing to consider a minority position in whatever deal emerges.

April 20 - In an abrupt turnaround, the company says it is looking at selling Grubhub, pressured by investors to revive its shares amid stiff competition and a fading pandemic boost.

April 25 - Cat Rock calls for a major shake-up of the company by voting out its CFO and several members of its supervisory board.

May 4 - Two of its most senior leaders step down, just hours before the AGM. Shares fall nearly 6%.

Chairman Adriaan Nuehn, whose position had been under pressure, will not seek reappointment while longtime chief operating officer Joerg Gerbig is under investigation for "possible personal misconduct at a company event".

May 10 - The company says would discontinue operations in Romania, the third country it has exited this year under pressure to become profitable after Portugal and Norway in March.

July 6 - Amazon AMZN.O has agreed to take a 2% stake in Grubhub and will offer its Prime members access to the service for one year. Under the deal, Amazon's stake in Grubhub could rise to 15%.

Just Eat Takeaway.com reiterated that it continues to actively explore the partial or full sale of Grubhub.

Amazon Teams Up With Just Eat On US Food Delivery With Grubhub Investment

The above news followed news that Amazon AMZN.O has agreed to take a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com's TKWY.AS struggling US meal delivery business Grubhub and will offer its Prime members access to the service for one year.

The deal is a major relief for Just Eat Takeaway, Europe's largest meals company, whose stock had fallen 70% this year. Shareholdershave demanded it sell or find a partner for Grubhub, which it bought just last year for $5.8 billion in shares.

Just Eat Takeway specified in a statement it continues to "explore the partial or full sale of Grubhub" though there is no certaintainty any deal will be reached.

In a note on the Amazon deal, analysts from JPMorgan said it would bring new customers and strengthen Grubhub's position in the United States, comparable to a partnership Amazon has in Britain with Just Eat competitor DeliverooROO.L.

"While Grubhub is now only a smaller part of Just Eat Takeaaway's portfolio, representing about 20% of estimated 2023 revenues, this step improves JET's position in potentially selling (Grubhub)," analysts wrote.

Shares in Just Eat were up 17% at €16.13 at 0838 GMT on Wednesday 6 July in Amsterdam trading.

Under the deal announced as part of Amazon's July "Prime Day" promotion on Wednesday, Amazon customers will receive free delivery on orders over $12 in the 4,000 cities where Grubhub operates.

The deal will drive traffic for Grubhub, which has lost share to Doordash DASH.N and Uber EatUBER.N as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

In exchange, Amazon will receive warrants representing 2% of Grubhub's shares, and an additional 13% of shares conditional on the deal bringing Grubhub enough customers.

"The agreement is expected to expand membership to Grubhub+, while having a neutral impact on Grubhub's 2022 earnings and cash flow, and be earnings and cash flow accretive for Grubhub from 2023 onwards," Just Eat Takeaway said in a statement.

The company said that Grubhub's gross assets were worth €6.5 billion at the end of 2021, and it made a pretax loss of €403 million in that year.

European Shares Climb On Just Eat Takeway.com Boost

All of the above news followed news that European shares climbed on Wednesday 6 July, as Norwegian oil and gas workers called off their strike and assuaged fears of a heightened energy supply crunch, while Just Eat Takeaway.com rose after Amazon agreed to buy a stake in unit Grubhub.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 .STOXX was up 1.3% by 0713 GMT on Wednesday 6 July, a day after the strike in Norway cut oil and gas output and exacerbated worries over inflation.

Germany's DAX .GDAXI gained 1.4% after losing almost 3% in the previous session. Data showed German industrial orders grew surprisingly in May, reversing the trend after a third consecutive monthly drop.

Retail .SXRP and travel and leisure stocks .SXTP rose 2.6% and 2.2%, respectively, to led gains among the European sectors.

Among single stocks, Just Eat Takeaway.com TKWY.AS jumped 14.2% after Amazon AMZN.O agreed to take a 2% stake in struggling US meal delivery business Grubhub and said it will offer its Prime members access to the service for one year.

Shares of Faurecia EPED.PA fell 4.3% after Barclays double-downgraded its rating on the French car parts maker' stock to "underweight".

Retail sales data of euro zone was scheduled for 0900 GMT on Wednesday 6 July.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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