Just Eat

Top Story

Just Eat Takeaway.com has announced it has entered an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Grubhub for $7.3bn, in a move that will create the largest online food delivery company outside of China. 

The deal represents Just Eat Takeaway’s entry into the US market and builds on the strategic rationale for its recent merger between Just Eat and Takeaway.com, the company said.

Following the transaction, the group will be one of the few profitable players in the online food delivery space, having processed approximately 593m orders in 2019 with more than 70m combined active customers globally.

Under the terms of the transaction, Grubhub shareholders will be entitled to receive American depositary receipts representing 0.6710 Just Eat Takeaway.com ordinary shares in exchange for each Grubhub share, for an implied value of $75.15 for each Grubhub share and implying a total equity consideration of $7.3bn.

On completion of the acquisition - expected in the first quarter of 2021 - Matt Maloney, CEO and founder of Grubhub, will join Just Eat Takeaway.com’s management board, leading the group’s operation in North America, while two current Grubhub directors will join the Just Eat Takeaway.com supervisory board.

Jitse Groen, CEO and founder of Just Eat Takeaway.com, said: “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.

“Both of us have a firm belief that only businesses with high-quality and profitable growth will sustain in our sector. I am excited that we can create the world’s largest food delivery business outside China. We look forward to welcoming Matt and his team to our company and working with them in the future.”

Just Eat Takaway shares opened down 2.2% at 7,457.92p.

Morning update 

Unilver has announced it will unify the company’s structure under one parent company based in the UK, after its failed attempt at moving the company to the Netherlands two years ago.

The rationale for the decision is to create a “simpler company with greater strategic flexibility, that is better positioned for future success”. 

The company’s board believes moving away from the current dual-headed structure will bring significant benefits by increasing flexibility for portfolio evolution, including through equity-based acquisitions or demergers. 

“Such flexibility is even more important as we anticipate the increasingly dynamic business environment that the Covid-19 pandemic will create,” the business added.

The ongoing review of Unilever’s tea business demonstrated how a dual-headed legal structure creates “disadvantages” for the group, Unilever explained. 

“For example, a demerger of the tea business is one potential outcome of the review and, as was previously the case with the disposal of the company’s Spreads business, this would be significantly more challenging under the current legal structure than under a single parent structure,” it added.   

Furthermore, the move will remove complexity and strengthen Unilever’s corporate governance, creating an equal voting basis per share for all shareholders. 

Upon completion, there would be one market capitalisation, one class of shares and one global pool of liquidity, whilst maintaining the group’s listings on the Amsterdam, London and New York stock exchanges.

Following the move, there will be no change to the operations, locations, activities or staffing levels in either the UK or The Netherlands.

Chairman Nils Andersen said: “Unilever’s board believes that unifying the company’s legal structure will create greater strategic flexibility , remove complexity and further improve governance.  

“We are confident that unification will help Unilever deliver its vision of driving superior long-term performance through its multiple stakeholder business model.”

B&M European Value Retail has reported double-digit revenue rise in its latest financial year, boosted by strong growth in the UK.

The variety goods value retailer has reported sales up 17% to £3.81bn for the year to 28 March 2020, with UK B&M store fascia revenues up 13% during the year and 3.3% on a like-for-like basis. 

Pretax profits rose 3.2% to £252m during the year, while the company ended the year with £532.6m cash and a net debt of £347.5m.

The retailer also made progress in France, turning 19 out of 101 Babou stores into B&M.

In the UK, 36 net new stores were opened during the year and further 30 are planned for financial 2021. The rate of openings has been dirupted by the coronavirus crisis but the company still expects to meet its “overall long term target of at least 950 B&M stores in the UK”.

Since the year end, trading has continued to be strong, despite the impact of the coronavirus on the UK high street. 

“In this last financial year our core B&M UK business delivered solid growth, as did our Heron Foods convenience store business,” CEO Simon said.

“However, so much about our lives has changed so profoundly and so fast as a result of Covid-19 that a financial year which ended only a short time ago already seems a world away. It is an understatement to say that the progress made during the year has been overtaken by recent events.

“The challenges posed by the virus have been beyond anything we have experienced before; they have tested every aspect of the way we do business in recent weeks and I’m pleased to say that B&M is coming through the crisis well because of the strength of the B&M proposition and the way our team has responded to those challenges.”

Looking ahead the CEO said he is confident that, despite the challenges posed by the virus, B&M was “well positioned to support the communities in which we trade for whatever lies ahead”. 

Beyond Meat has announced it will expand its production capabilities in Europe to ensure for more efficient distribution outside of the US.

The meat alternative giant  has announced the company’s first co-manufacturing capabilities in Europe opening the Zandbergen co-manufacturing facility in the Netherlands.

The site will produce the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage and will soon include the debut of new lighter packaging for both products.

The company has also announced it acquired its first manufacturing facility in Europe, in Enschede, the Netherlands.

This Beyond Meat owned facility - expected to be operational by the end of 2020 - will be the first outside of the US and will handle Beyond Meat’s innovative approach to texturizing plant proteins, the first step in the company’s manufacturing process.

“This latest investment in production capacity reflects our continued commitment to serving global markets,” said Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO of Beyond Meat.

“Our new facility in Enschede will not only bring production closer to the consumer, representing an investment in the markets and communities we serve, but is expected to allow us to leverage local supply chains, improving our cost structure and sustainability of operations. We are excited to take this next step in bringing the nutritional and environmental benefits of our plant-based meats to the European consumer.”

McBride has promoted CFO Chris Smith to CEO with immediate effect.

The household products manufacturer said Ludwig de Mot, who was appointed CEO on 1 November 2019, has left the business.

Smith, who joined the company in 2015 as CFO, took over the helm of the business and will help the future CFO - expected to be an external candidate - transition into the role.

Chairman Jeff Nodland said: “I am delighted that Chris has accepted the role as the Group’s new CEO. Over the five years Chris has been with McBride, he has demonstrated his strong international leadership capabilities in multi-site and multi-country organisations.”

The FTSE 100 opened 2.5% lower at 6,169.28pts.

Among the fallers, Devro opened 9.7% lower at 162.01p, Bakkavor slumped 7.6% to 77.86p, McColl’s fell 7.1% to 45p and B&M opened 6.4% lower at 355.50p.

Risers included Unilever up 0.9% to 4,417p, Premier Foods up 1.5% to 52.76p and Applegreen up 1.7% at 360.95p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.1% at 6,329.13pts.

Closing in the red, Just Eat Takeaway slumped 13% to 7,626p on initial news of its approach for Grubhub, Marks & Spencer fell 6.9% to 112.15p and SSP Group was down 6.6% to 293.20p.

Risers saw Premier Foods close 9.2% higher at 52.00p, Nichols up 5% at 1,325.00p and Devro up 4.4% at 179.40p.