Latin America

Rocket Internet Sheds Four Food Businesses

German startup accelerator Rocket Internet is slimming down its food delivery business with the sale of four of its companies for about $140 million in cash.

The four companies, which include online takeaway food businesses trading in Spain (La Nevera Roja), Italy (PizzaBo/hellofood Italy), Brazil (hellofood Brazil) and Mexico (hellofood Mexico), are being acquired by digital marketplace Just Eat.

“The divestment in Latin America allows us to focus on our key markets across Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, where foodpanda has a market-leading position and to which we can now dedicate more resources and capital to grow our business and improve the efficiency of our operations,” said Ralf Wenzel, cofounder and CEO of Rocket Internet’s food delivery company, foodpanda. “We are on a very good path to reach our global growth target.”

On the other hand, the acquisitions are strategic for Just Eat as they provide a tighter grip for the company over Latin America, which is its top-performing market. The food delivery business in the four countries is worth over $11.6 billion, Just Eat said in a statement.

Just Eat’s move to acquire Rocket Internet‘s business in Brazil and Mexico comes after the company’s repeated efforts to expand its presence in Latin America through acquisitions. Earlier last year, the company acquired SinDelantal.mx, which added more than 3,000 Mexican restaurants that process over 60,000 orders per month to its network.

While the sales of Rocket Internet’s business in Italy, Brazil and Mexico were completed last Friday (Feb. 5), it is anticipated that the sale of La Nevera Roja in Spain will be completed by the end of Q2 2016, as the approval of the sale awaits a decision from the Spanish competition authority, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia.

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