Just Eat to buy Australia's Menulog

pizza being sliced Image copyright PA
Image caption Just Eat and Menulog are both online food ordering services

Online takeaway food service Just Eat has agreed to buy Menulog, an Australian food ordering company.

Just Eat is paying 855m Australian dollars ($676m; £437m) for Menulog, and will fund the deal by issuing new shares.

Menulog has 1.4 million active consumers registered to its service in Australian and New Zealand.

Menulog generated £13.5m in revenues and £1.2m in underlying earnings in the year to March.

Just Eat said that Menulog was "growing rapidly", with order volumes nearly doubling in the January-to-March period from a year earlier.

"The Australian and New Zealand markets exhibit a number of strong characteristics that make it similar to the UK and therefore a market in which aggregators should thrive," said Just Eat.

"This includes a takeaway food culture, a fragmented restaurant market, high levels of disposable income and a high level of ecommerce adoption."

Just Eat listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in April last year. Its share price has since risen 76% to 498.9p, valuing the company at more than £2.8bn.

It has reported a series of positive financial results. Its orders in the first three months of the year were 51% higher than a year earlier year.

The company was founded in 2001 in Denmark. It now operates in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Just Eat expects to raise funds for the Menulog acquisition in mid-to-late May, if the deal receives regulatory approval in Australia.

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