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Germany/South Korea: Food-delivery battle heats up with $4B deal

 |  December 16, 2019

Germany’s Delivery Hero agreed a US$4 billion deal to buy South Korea’s top food delivery app owner Woowa Brothers, ratcheting up consolidation in the industry as it expands in Asia’s fast-growing but crowded market.

The deal, announced on Friday, December 13, by Woowa, follows a wave of others in the rapidly expanding sector but is the biggest so far. Woowa said it fell into the arms of its rival as “a survival strategy” in an intensely competitive market. 

For Delivery Hero, now worth over €11 billion (US$12 billion) after listing at a value of €4.4 billion (US$4.9 billion) two and a half years ago, buying Woowa expands its presence in Asia as Europe becomes more competitive.

“Cut-throat competition against companies with large [amounts of] capital will eventually lead to co-destruction. So, we decided to partner with Delivery Hero,” said Bong Jin Kim, Woowa Brothers’ founder. The South Korean group owns Baedal Minjok, an app more commonly known as Baemin.