Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) has agreed to acquire Yelp Inc.'s (NYSE: YELP) Eat24 online food delivery business for $287.5 million. Deal activity among online meal providers is picking up steam, as diners seek convenient food options without leaving their homes.
The two businesses combined will work with more than 75,000 restaurants, and will expand each company's customer's base, while giving restaurants access to more diners. Chicago-based Grubhub alone is partnered with about 55,000 restaurants through the Grubhub, Seamless, AllMenus and MenuPages brands. Eat24 works with about 35,000 restaurants.
"Adding Eat24's large diner base and thousands of restaurants to our platform will accelerate Grubhub's mission to become the most comprehensive marketplace connecting takeout diners and restaurants," says Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney. Kirland & Ellis is representing Grubhub, while Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is doing the same for San Francisco-based Yelp.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is poised to use technology to experiment with food delivery since it announced the Whole Foods deal. Grubhub may feel the heat from that deal and could become a takeover target. In other deals, Nestlé USA acquired a minority stake in online meal provider Freshly in 2017. Freshly, founded in 2015 and based New York, uses a subscription service model to cook meals and deliver them directly to consumers. The target’s menu consists of 30 combinations including: Sicilian-style chicken parmesan with broccoli and steak peppercorn with sauteed carrots and asparagus, that can be heated in three minutes or less. In 2016, L Catterton acquired a stake in Chicago-based meal kit delivery company Home Chef. The target delivers pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to subscribers weekly that can be prepared in up to 45 minutes. Home Chef’s menu consists of 13 dinner meals, along with breakfast and fruit basket options.