​Just Eat to dish out AU$885m for Menulog acquisition

Just Eat plans to enter the Australian and New Zealand market with the proposed acquisition of Menulog.

UK-based online takeaway ordering service Just Eat plans to enter the Australian and New Zealand market through the purchase of the Menulog Group for £445 million (AU$855 million).

Menulog boasts to have more than 5,500 restaurants listed on its site, and 1.4 million active users across the Australian and New Zealand markets. It also reported that it achieved year-on-year order volume growth of 96 percent for the three months ended March 31, 2015.

Just Eat CEO David Buttress said in a statement that since its initial public offering (IPO) last year, the company has continuously reinforced that acquisitions would be an important strategic objective for the company.

"The acquisition of Menulog, a business with strong leadership in an attractive and fast-growing market, is fully consistent with this approach and will be an important addition to the Just Eat business," he said.

"The Menulog founders have together built a great business, and I look forward to working closely with Menulog's CEO and his experienced management team in the coming months."

Under the acquisition, the Menulog management team will remain with the business. Menulog CEO Dan Katz said the proposed acquisition will provide the company with access to Just Eat's experience, particularly in digital marketing and its customer service model.

The acquisition will be financed from the proceeds of an issue of new equity. The equity fundraising is expected to be launched in mid to late May, following approval of the acquisition by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board. Completion of the equity fundraising is expected in early to mid June 2015.