UPDATE 1-Shares in takeaway service Just-Eat rise on debut
(Adds quote, valuation details, comparisons, background, share price)
LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Shares in online takeaway firm Just-Eat Group rose as much as 10 percent above their offer price on their first day of trading in London on Thursday, valuing the company at more than 1.5 billion pounds ($2.56 billion).
The London-based company, founded in Denmark in 2001, last year processed more than 40 million orders for 36,000 takeaway outlets in 13 markets, the largest of which were Britain, Denmark, France, Canada, Ireland and Spain.
Just-Eat priced its shares at 260 pence each. It sold about a quarter of the company's equity.
Chief Executive David Buttress said he was delighted at the strong demand from investors and by 1030 GMT the shares were up 5 percent to 273 pence, giving it a valuation of around 1.54 billion pounds.
In contrast, Domino's Pizza Group, Britain's biggest pizza delivery company with more than 860 stores and pretax profit in 2013 of 47.6 million pounds, has a stock market value of about 870 million pounds.
Just-Eat, which says it is the world's largest online marketplace for restaurant delivery, plans to use the funds to expand. In 2013 it grew revenue by 62 percent to 96.8 million pounds and core earnings rose 518 percent to 14.1 million pounds compared with 2012.
It is the latest in a wave of IPOs across Europe, and companies such as AO World, the online domestic appliances retailer, and boohoo.com, an internet fashion retailer, also saw their shares surge above their offer prices on their market debut.
The listing also marks the first IPO for London Stock Exchange's High Growth Segment, a initiative launched last year tailored to meet the needs of high growth technology companies.
Just Eat said it will receive 100 million pounds of gross proceeds from the offer, while much of the rest will go to backers such as SM Trust, Index Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Greylock Partners and the company's management and employees who will sell down their shareholdings.