Online fast food ordering veteran Just Eat, which lets hungry web users in 13 global markets order a food delivery from a range of local takeaways, is preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange.
Earlier this month, Just Eat acquired EPOS maker Meal2Go with the intention of selling its specialist restaurant electronic point of sale tech to its takeaway partners as another string to its bow to encourage them to sign up to its ordering platform.
More acquisitions are likely on the cards for Just Eat, with CEO David Buttress telling the FT the company is looking to expand through “potential acquisitions”.
Just Eat, which was founded in Denmark back in 2001 but is headquartered in London, has made a swathe of acquisitions over the years — including Spain’s SinDelantal (in 2012), London’s Urbanbite (in 2011) and Canada’s GrubCanada (also in 2011), to name three.
In a document announcing its intention to IPO, Just Eat said today its largest markets are the U.K., Denmark, France, Canada, Ireland and Spain. It also noted that its platform processes almost 900 real-time orders per minute at peak times in the U.K.
Detailing its financial performance in 2013, Just Eat said it generated revenue of £96.8 million and underlying EBITDA of £14.1 million — representing growth of 61.9% and 518.0%, respectively, compared to 2012.
Within its “more established markets” of the U.K. and Denmark, last year Just Eat generated combined revenue of £80.4 million and underlying EBITDA of £30.2 million — representing growth of 57.3% and 69.9%, respectively vs 2012.
It said this performance highlights the potential of its scalable business model in markets where it has “clearly established leading positions and sufficient scale”. It added that it will therefore be using money raised from the IPO to develop “less mature and new markets” to pursue further growth.
Just Eat flagged up what it called its “modest” delivery market penetration in the majority of its existing markets (20% in the UK; 49% in Denmark; <10% in other jurisdictions) as evidence of significant opportunity for further growth across its geographic footprint.
Another growth strategy for Just Eat is food order collection — meaning users of its platform will be able to place food orders for self-collection not just for delivery — with the company describing collection as a “largely untapped and significant opportunity”.
“We believe collection will become a growing part of our business,” Buttress told the FT. He also said Just Eat would be broadening the range of restaurants that customers can order from, branching out from the smaller takeaway groups that current dominate its service to add higher-quality eateries. “We want to give consumers the full choice of restaurants,” he said.
Just Eat’s IPO intention announcement document also flags up the apparent added value its platform offers takeaway businesses, specifically noting that online orders increase order yield by an average of 30% vs traditional telephone orders.
The company said the next step on the road to its IPO will be the publication of a Prospectus in the “coming weeks”. It’s expecting the IPO to be completed during April 2014.
Just Eat has also appointed two new independent non-exec directors to its board in preparation for the IPO — named by the FT as Andrew Griffith, chief financial officer of BSkyB, and Gwyn Burr, a former customer services director at Asda — with a third non-exec director set to be appointed shortly.