Delivery Hero Suspends Plans to Sell Foodpanda Business

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Delivery Hero has ended discussions to sell its foodpanda business in Southeast Asia.

The Berlin-based food delivery platform announced Wednesday (Feb. 21) that it had terminated negotiation for the deal, which would have covered Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

According to an announcement on the company website, Delivery Hero had earlier this month confirmed ongoing discussions, and had been optimistic the deal would close.

“At that time, the company believed it had reached an alignment with the potential buyer on the fundamental terms regarding the sale of the business. However, Delivery Hero took the decision to withdraw from negotiations as this is no longer the case,” the statement said.

The company, which acquired foodpanda in 2016, says it remains open to merger and acquisition activity, provided such deals can generate shareholder value.

The announcement follows news from late last month that Delivery Hero had sold its 4.5% stake in British food ordering platform Deliveroo for $97 million.

As PYMNTS wrote at the time, Delivery Hero had purchased its stake in Deliveroo in 2021, at a time when “food delivery companies were riding high, as the pandemic drove people away from dining in restaurants.”

But in the years hence, many companies have struggled, as food inflation and other economic pressures have caused diners to cut back on meal deliveries.

For example, recent quarterly earnings from Deliveroo show that while the company’s average monthly active consumers climbed by around 400,000 from the previous quarter, that number still dropped 2% year over year, while total orders and revenue were flat.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS spoke Thursday with Noah Zych, Uber’s global head of autonomous mobility and delivery, about his company’s recent partnership with Mitsubishi Electric and Cartken to launch robotic deliveries in Tokyo.

As that report noted, consumer sentiment about robot delivery seems to be mixed. A PYMNTS Intelligence report, “Connected Dining: The Robot Will Take Your Order Now,” found that 71% of those surveyed said they were uninterested in robotics or automated systems delivering food. And among those consumers, 65% had concerns about reliability and order accuracy.

All the same, Uber said it views demand for the technology and use cases suited to the constraints of the model — shorter distances and smaller orders.

“People are generally pretty excited about getting their food delivered by a robot,” Zych said. “… The thing our eaters care the most about, while having that fun experience of interacting with a robot, is still that their food comes quickly, and it comes in good condition.”

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