(Bloomberg) -- U.K. food-delivery startup Deliveroo has begun preliminary talks to explore an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.The Amazon.com Inc.-backed company has had discussions with potential advisers regarding the possibility of an IPO in 2021, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. No final decisions have been made and Deliveroo may still decide against going ahead with listing plans, they said.A representative for Deliveroo declined to comment.Food delivery companies have been expanding rapidly, with rivals Just Eat Takeaway.com NV and Delivery Hero SE announcing acquisitions this year. U.K. regulators cleared Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo in August after a probe that lasted almost a year and froze the majority of a $575 million capital injection.Although initially struggling at the start of the lockdown, Deliveroo got a boost as the year went on as customers avoided supermarkets and ordered takeout meals and groceries. Deliveroo was valued at more than $2 billion in 2017, but didn’t reveal a valuation after its latest investment round in May 2019. Deliveroo previously said sales from its food-delivery business grew 72% in 2018, reaching 476 million pounds ($607 million) for the year.Launched in 2013, Deliveroo has become one of the U.K.’s main food delivery companies, alongside Uber Eats and Just Eat Takeaway. These companies have been expanding into grocery delivery, with Waitrose and Deliveroo recently teaming up to offer quick deliveries of select goods.Uber Eats and Deliveroo are also battling for so-called virtual restaurants, where eateries lease kitchen space to prepare food for couriers. With no dining rooms or wait staff, these outfits pop up where food delivery companies expect demand, and sell their meals through Uber Eats or Deliveroo’s app.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) announced today that although it and Just Eat Takeaway.com (LSE: JET) have received all the necessary regulatory approvals to complete their $7.3 billion all-stock merger, the two may need more time to complete the deal. Grubhub says everything is on track and it still expects to complete the deal in the first half of 2021, but the two parties are extending the deadline to complete the transaction out to Dec. 31, 2021, from the original date of June 10, 2021. Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) is acquiring Postmates for $2.6 billion (and had sought to acquire Grubhub before it accepted the Just Eat Takeaway offer).
European food-ordering firm Just Eat Takeaway.com NV <TKWY.AS> thinks GrubHub <GRUB.N> is better positioned than rivals to prosper in the United States even though it has been pushed into third place, its operating chief told Reuters. The food delivery business has seen a land grab in the last year as companies vie for the market leading positions they say they need to keep customers coming back to their apps. Netherlands-based Takeaway sealed the acquisition of Britain's Just Eat, a company larger than itself, in January and the combined firm then agreed in June to buy U.S. peer GrubHub for $7.3 billion.