Just Eat Takeaway chief executive Jitse Groen says plan to delist from Nasdaq does not indicate intention to sell Grubhub, amidst pressure on shares
The chief executive of Just Eat Takeaway.com said on Sunday the company’s decision to delist from the US should not be seen as an indication that it plans to sell its Grubhub subsidiary.
Just Eat Takeaway said last week it would delist from the Nasdaq in the first quarter of this year, citing its low share price there and the low percentage of its total shares held on the exchange, about 3.7 percent.
At the time the company called the move a cost-saving measure, something reiterated by chief executive Jitse Groen in an interview with Dutch business television programme Business Class.
The expenses associated with a public listing in the US do not justify the “tiny bit of liquidity” that it offers, he said, according to local media.
Groen repeated his position that only “very large dominant positions” in the food delivery business will be able to earn large profits.
He acknowledged that Grubhub, whose $7.3bn purchase was completed last June, is “not No. 1” in the United States, where it faces competition from Uber, Doordash and others, and that there have been “a lot of conversations in the US” about how to expand the company.
“(But) if you talk to people then you have to have the goal that it improves the business.
“We have to get into a market position such as we have in the Netherlands, so that we can earn money,” he said.
Takeaway, the largest food delivery in Canada, Germany and the UK, has come under pressure from activist shareholders to sell Grubhub as the group’s share price has declined.
Groen said the firm is seven times bigger than it was at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen a boom in online ordering, and has doubled in size since the Grubhub acquisition.
“The time was right” for the Just Eat and Grubhub acquisitions, and stepping back from the Nasdaq is “not necessarily” a sign Grubhub will be sold, he said.
The company is “much better positioned than our competitors” for reaching profitability, Groen claimed.
Takeaway, which will continue to trade in London and Amsterdam, has seen its shares lose two-thirds of their value since a peak above 109 euros in October 2020. They closed at 38.25 euros on Friday, down 6 percent on the day, and sank a further 4 percent in early trading on Monday.