Delivery Hero buys South Korean rival Woowa

Berlin-headquartered online food-delivery operator Delivery Hero has acquired Seoul-based rival Woowa for US$4 billion.

The acquisition will see Delivery Hero owning 88 per cent of Woowa, with the remaining shares to be acquired over time.

Woowa operates food delivery platform Baedal Minjok in South Korea, which it says generated approximately 100 million orders during the third quarter. It also includes the Baemin service in Vietnam, operated by Baedal Minjok.

“Woowa is at the forefront of innovative technological services and has put Korea on the map in the global online food delivery industry,” said Delivery Hero CEO Niklas Ostberg.

“We fully support Woowa to continue making investments and innovate for the benefit of the wider industry participants, including consumers, restaurants, employees and riders,” he added.

Along with the acquisition, the two companies agreed to set up a joint venture in Singapore to explore investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and to further expand Delivery Hero and Woowa’s Asian footprint.

The deal marks a complete circle of delivery services in Vietnam. Foodpanda exited the market in December 2015 and its then parent sold the database to rival Veitnammm. Delivery Hero bought out Foodpanda a year later and earlier this year, Baedal Minjok bought Vietnammm before rebranding it Baemin. 

Frankfurt-listed Delivery Hero was founded in 2011 with operations in more than 40 countries internationally, offering delivery services in more than 300 cities.

Last year, Woowa grew revenues in South Korea by 96 per cent over 2017 to €242 million, turning a pretax profit of €46 million. In the first nine months of this year, Woowa grew revenues in South Korea by 84 per cent to €301 million, with GMV pretax profit of around €3 million. Its Vietnam subsidiary fulfilled about 1.5 million orders during the third quarter of this year.

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