UPDATE 1-Takeaway.com shares slip as U.S. rival DoorDash enters Europe

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(Repetition, adds comment by Takeaway CEO)

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Amsterdam, Nov 10 (Businesshala) – Shares of Just Eat Takeaway.com slipped on Wednesday following news that US rival DoorDash was entering the European market, allowing a major shareholder to step up a strategy in Europe’s largest food delivery firm. Inspired to call for change.

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Cat Rock, which holds a 6.5% stake in Takeaway, made renewed calls to sell off US arm Grubhub and put the proceeds to work defending its market position in Europe.

The call comes a day after DoorDash, which is bigger than Grubhub in the United States, made a major European move with the 7 billion euro ($8.1 billion) purchase of Finland-based VoLTE Enterprises Oy.

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Having experienced rapid growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, established European food ordering companies such as Takeaway, Deliveroo and Delivery Hero are poised for consolidation and competition with a new generation of expedited grocery and delivery companies.

Shares of Amsterdam-based Takeaway, which completed its $7.3 billion acquisition of Grubhub in June, fell 5.1% to 59.84 euros at 1340 GMT and is now down 35% this year.

CEO Jitse Groen responded to suggestions that DoorDash’s move could threaten Takeaway.com in Germany: “Our business in Germany is bigger than the entire Vault worldwide”.

“Its competitive position is better than Doordarshan’s in America. But if you want to believe in fairy tales then I admit I can’t change your mind,” Groen added on Twitter.

Cat Rock said in a presentation that Grubhub would be more valuable in the hands of a larger competitor, which is interested in expanding same-day distribution capabilities.

Cat Rock said the sale would also improve Takeaway’s valuation, which has lagged behind its peers over the past year, and allow it to invest more heavily in defending its position in Europe.

The takeaway last month responded to criticism from Cat Rock and other investors, saying it recently acquired Grubhub and plans to defend it against competitors like Uber.

A Takeaway spokesperson said it had no further comment “at this stage”. ($1 = 0.8645 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling, Editing by Lewis Heavens and Alexander Smith)

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