Just Eat looking plump with a £1.5bn valuation after IPO

    Just Eat CEO David Buttress describes himself as an “anti cooking activist” on his business card, and while amusing it tells you something of the bullish nature of a company determined to make an impact. Well if a successful stock market floatation can be used as a measure of impact, and we’re going to say that yes it can be, then Just Eat are definitely making an impact.

    A short recap for those who might not be familiar with Just Eat. They began life as a Danish startup in 2001 before moving headquarters to the UK in 2006. Through its website and mobile app it took more than 40 million orders last year and has more than 36,000 takeaway places in its database. That reach equated to £96.8m in sales and pre-tax profits of £10.2m. They charge 11% commision on orders placed which worked out to an average return of £2.11 per order.

    Before the floatation the shares were given an IPO range of 210-260p and swinging big they decided to open at 260p yesterday. The bold move seems to have paid off in early trading at the share price climbed to 285p before closing out the night at 283p.

    138 million shares have been sold by the company and its investors to makes up almost a quarter of its equity. That works out to a little under £360m which has been raised, not bad for a middle man company that connects hungry people to takeaway restaurants.

    £100m will be going back into Just Eat and the rest gets pocketed by the venture capital backers, management, employees and former staff with stock who as part of the floatation are selling down their stakes.

    Some details that we’ve discovered are that STM Fidecs Trust, one of the venture capital backers, has sold off £87.4m of its stake but will still hold 23% of Just Eat. Meanwhile CEO Buttress is selling £7.2m of his shares to leave him with just 0.4% of the company. We don’t know how much Index Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Greylock Partners, Just Eat’s other investors, have made, but we imagine they’re probably as happy with the result of the floatation as every other party.

    Where Just Eat goes from here, and what they do with the £100m, is open to speculation. My own thought would be for them to swallow up one of the many voucher/discount operators. Combine their ordering service with the lure of discounted food would surely attract even more users. Either that or fill a swimming pool with money to swim in like Scrooge McDuck.