Delivery Hero CFO: We have the firepower to be active in M&A

Aug 20 (Reuters) - German online takeaway food group Delivery Hero said on Thursday it has the financial muscle to play an active role in expected future acquisitions in the fast-growing industry.

The food delivery sector, which has experienced a wave of consolidation in recent years, has seen demand surge during the coronavirus pandemic as people in lockdown order from home.

“There will be consolidation in the future and what we raised in January and summer will allow us to have the firepower for potential M&A,” finance chief Emmanuel Thomassin told Reuters in an interview.

Delivery Hero raised almost 2.3 billion euros ($2.72 billion)in January from the sale of convertible bonds and new shares to help fund its $4 billion takeover of South Korea’s food delivery app owner Woowa Brothers. It raised another 1.5 billion euros from convertible bonds in July.

“You could expect us to look at every M&A transaction in our industry,” Thomassin said.

He made the comments after the former start-up confirmed it will join the DAX index of Germany’s leading blue-chip stocks, replacing Wirecard, the payments company that folded after an accounting scandal.

He said the move was a good signal for Germany and Europe, noting that tech companies had a much bigger weight on U.S. and Chinese markets.

Founded in 2011, the Berlin-based company now operates in more than 40 countries. It has more than 600,000 restaurants listed on its platform, which takes more than 4 million orders each day.

European rival Just Eat NV said last month it had agreed to buy U.S. peer Grubhub Inc in an all-stock deal that, if completed, would create the world’s largest food delivery company outside China.

The company raised its 2020 sales forecast last month after second-quarter revenue nearly doubled to 612.1 million euros. ($1 = 0.8454 euros) (Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik Writing by Emma Thomasson Editing by Michelle Martin)