Third-party food delivery service Grubhub has two potential European acquirers, according to an article from CNBC. Just Eat Takeaway and Delivery Hero have both expressed interest in merging with Grubhub, according to CNBC sources.
The news comes shortly after Uber made an offer to buy Grubhub in May. At the time, we wrote that the combined forces of Uber Eats and Grubhub would potentially knock DoorDash out of the top spot in terms of marketshare in the U.S.
However, according to the CNBC article, that deal has been overshadowed by antitrust concerns, which would make getting regulatory approval on a deal much more difficult. A deal with a European company would likely get less scrutiny from regulators.
Just Eat was itself the center of a bidding war in 2019 between Takeaway.com and Naspers-backed tech firm Prosus. Takeaway.com won that battle. Prosus has a 22 percent stake in Delivery Hero, so if a bidding war breaks out over Grubhub, in a sense, those two companies will be going toe-to-toe once again.
CNBC’s sources said Grubhub is weighing its options and “mulling the right deal structure with potential buyers given market conditions and regulatory risks.”
For both Just Eat Takeaway and Delivery Hero, a deal with Grubhub would allow them to enter the U.S. market, where Grubhub is one of the main players along with Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates. Grubhub has an especially large presence in markets like NYC and Chicago, which would give either of these European suitors automatic access to those audiences.
Meanwhile, all this is further evidence that consolidation for the third-party delivery market is here. Besides the Just Eat-Takeaway.com deal, 2019 also saw Delivery Hero buying South Korean service Woowa Bros. for $4 billion and Brazil-based iFood announcing a merger with Colombian delivery heavyweight Domicillios.com.