Uber in ‘early talks’ to buy Deliveroo, says Bloomberg

Ride-hailing company Uber is in early talks to buy the food-delivery company Deliveroo, reports Bloomberg.

A bid for London-based Deliveroo, last valued at more than $2bn, would “mark a major attempt by Uber to dominate the food-delivery business in Europe. An acquisition price is unknown. Any offer would need to be considerably above its latest valuation,” said Bloomberg.

It added that the talks could fall apart, in part because Deliveroo and its investors have been reluctant to relinquish independence.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive officer, has made the company’s food-delivery business a priority ahead of a planned initial public offering in the second half of next year. The San Francisco-based company is also weighing other acquisitions; it is in talks with Middle Eastern ride-sharing rival Careem.

Deliveroo is one of Europe’s biggest startups and last year raised about $480m from investors including Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. The company competes directly with Uber Eats, Uber’s food delivery business.

Deliveroo was in financing talks last year with SoftBank, one of Uber’s major investors; the negotiations ended after SoftBank concentrated on backing Uber.

Although little-known in the crowded US market, which it has avoided, Deliveroo is ubiquitous in Europe’s capitals; the service is available in more than 200 cities on four continents.