Just Eat has conceded defeat to a rival takeaway business in two European markets – but netting itself millions in the process.
The food delivery company, which last week upgraded its earnings guidance for the second time this year, has sold off its business in Belgium and the Netherlands to rival Takeaway.com for €22.5m (£19m).
“We have always been clear that the competitive dynamics of our industry demand clear market leadership to drive sustainable profitability,"said chief executive David Buttress.
"The disposal of our Benelux business, where we are number two, delivers on that strategy and comes at the right time for Just Eat. We are the clear leader in our remaining 12 markets and it is appropriate that our time and resources are focused on building on the strong growth we are seeing across those businesses in future.”
Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com operates in 10 countries, including the UK, and is reportedly mulling an IPO. The 15-year-old startup and Just Eat – one of the UK's most successful tech startups – are just two of many operating in the increasingly crowded space.
Just a week ago Belgium's Take Eat Easy, which only came to the UK in February, ceased trading and said it was looking for a buyer.
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In the UK, Deliveroo and more recently UberEats are also chasing a slice of the takeaway food market.
Just Eat last week said it was confident that there would be no impact from the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, upping its full-year forecast for the year by £10m.
Conceding Benelux to its rival appears to have paid off, however. Just Eat shares were up nearly two per cent in morning trading.