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Fri 5th Feb 2016 - Just Eat buys four takeaway businesses
Just Eat buys four takeaway businesses: Just Eat, the digital marketplace for takeaway food delivery, has bought four businesses from Rocket Internet and Foodpanda for £94.7 million, to be funded from existing cash resources. The businesses acquired are online takeaway food businesses trading in Spain (La Nevera Roja), Italy (PizzaBo/hellofood Italy), Brazil (hellofood Brazil) and Mexico (hellofood Mexico). The company stated: “The acquired businesses are highly complementary to Just Eat’s existing businesses in these important territories and the Acquisition is in line with Just Eat’s strategic ambition to be a market-leader in the geographies in which it operates, bringing scale, focus and new talent to our local operations. The takeaway delivery market in these four territories is worth over £8 billion. Volume and scale generate significant benefits to the markets concerned, offering an enlarged customer base for takeaway restaurants and greater choice for consumers. There are also compelling economic benefits of scale that lead, in time, to material synergies and meaningfully higher sustainable margins. The success of the 2014 consolidation in Brazil demonstrates the highly effective nature of in-market M&A in this industry. Just Eat’s joint venture with Movile, iFood, is the Brazilian market leader and processed 1.1 million orders in December 2015, up 150% year-on-year. In aggregate, the acquired businesses grew orders by 83% in 2015, and Just Eat expects the acquisition, net of one-off exceptional transaction and integration costs, to be accretive to adjusted EPS for the 2016 financial year and to add £5 million to 2017 Ebitda. Further material synergies and margin improvements are expected as the combined businesses achieve more rapid and profitable growth, with improvements to Ebitda of £10 million per annum expected in 2018. The acquisition of the businesses in Italy, Brazil and Mexico will complete today. The acquisition of the Spanish business is subject to regulatory approval from the local competition authority, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, and it is anticipated that it should complete by the end of Q2 2016. On completion, operational control of hellofood Brazil will pass to iFood, and the business is expected to be sold on to the joint venture in due course. The value of the gross assets of the businesses acquired as at 31 December 2014 was €6.4 million (£5.0 million) and the aggregate losses before tax for the year ending the same date were €16.3 million (£13.1 million).” Just Eat’s chief executive David Buttress, said: “This transaction reflects our ambition to make strategic, value-enhancing acquisitions that consolidate our leadership of the global digital marketplace for takeaway food delivery. Just Eat has enhanced its market-leading positions in geographies that we understand and where our existing businesses are performing strongly. We are delighted to welcome our new team members to the Just Eat family, and we look forward to working with them to improve the takeaway experience for both restaurant partners and consumers in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.” Oliver Samwer, chief executive and founder, Rocket Internet, said: “This sale to Just Eat represents a positive step forward for the global online takeaway industry enabling all parties to focus their resources on building bigger and better long term businesses in their key geographies.”

Shaftesbury – restaurants, cafes and pubs are as important to us as shops now: West End landlord Shaftesbury has reported that its restaurant portfolio in the West End produces as much rental income as its shops. The company stated: “An unrivalled variety and quality of attractions, coupled with a large and important local working population, support the prosperity of London’s West End and our centrally-located portfolio. The weeks leading up to, and throughout Christmas and New Year, are traditionally an exceptionally busy period, bringing additional visitors and spending to the West End. Although national trading reports have been mixed, we have seen in our areas robust footfall numbers and spending. Sustained buoyancy in the local economy underpins continued strong tenant demand across all uses and in each of our locations. The West End’s exceptional choice of shopping is now matched by a wide choice of innovative and affordable dining and leisure options, which today draw visitors and spending in their own right. For Shaftesbury, the importance of rental income from our ownership of 316 shops is now matched by that from our 258 restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars, with each producing 35% of current income. In January 2016 we commenced our Charing Cross Road/Chinatown scheme. Totalling 45,500 sq ft, it will bring major improvements to the area at the east of Chinatown, providing 32,000 sq ft of retail on Charing Cross Road, 13,500 sq ft of restaurant space fronting Newport Place and Newport Court and a much-improved gateway into Chinatown. The scheme is expected to cost £10 million. Completion is currently anticipated in mid-2017, and we expect to see growing interest, as the scheme progresses, in the much-improved accommodation it will create. Other schemes underway at 31 December 2015 involved the reconfiguration and improvement of 9,100 sq ft of shops, (ERV: £1.0 million), 8,600 sq ft of restaurants and cafes (ERV: £0.4 million), 23,300 sq ft of office space (ERV: £1.5 million), and 49 apartments either being created or up-graded (ERV: £1.6 million). In addition to the routine level of refurbishment activity across the portfolio, we will be starting works on two further important projects in the coming months, which will in the short-term further increase the extent of space we are improving. We are now well-advanced in securing vacant possession of the Thomas Neal’s Warehouse in Seven Dials, and expect to commence works in the next two months . The scheme, which will provide 21,000 sq ft of flagship retail space, will cost in the region of £2 million. Completion is anticipated in late 2016. As previously advised, the scheme involves a loss of annual income of £0.8 million, but it will deliver both higher income and wider benefits to our Seven Dials holdings over the medium term.”

McDonald’s to swap toys for books in Happy Meals in the US: McDonald’s is swapping toys for books within its Happy Meals offer in the US from Tuesday 9 February Monday 15 February. The four titles that will be distributed with the food, one at a time, will be Bruce Hale’s Clark the Shark Takes Heart; Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond’s Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! and Kimberly and James Dean’s Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool – and Michael Bond’s Paddington, the only non-Valentine’s Day themed book. They have been especially made to fit into the small Happy Meal boxes, and they will be available in Spanish in some restaurants. This is the fourth year in which the company will have distributed books this way, in partnership with HarperCollins and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the US’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit organisation. The company claims that it will have distributed more than 50m books to children by the end of the year through sales and donations, according to Carol H Rasco, president and CEO of RIF, who wrote about the initiative on Medium. This is “enough to provide a book to every child in America under the age of 12”, she added. “To put that into more perspective, McDonald’s USA will have distributed more than twice the number of children’s books than are catalogued in the classification system at the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world,” added Rasco. She emphasised the need to ensure children have access to books to combat illiteracy, and the fact that simple practices like reading to them at bedtime have a huge impact on their future education, as research has proven. The company also announced a donation of 100,000 books to RIF.

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