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Just Eat Advances in London Amid Demand for Online Takeaways

Just Eat Plc rose 8.9 percent on its trading debut in London today, more than a decade after five Danes started the online takeaway service, connecting diners directly to restaurants via the Internet.

The stock climbed 23 pence to 283 pence giving the company a market value of 1.6 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).

Investors are betting on retailers including AO World Plc and Poundland Group Plc as the companies went public last quarter amid a U.K. economic recovery. Plc, an online fashion retailer, rose 40 percent on its first day of trading in March and is now valued at 615 million pounds. IPO volumes in London this year more than doubled from the same period in 2013 to about $8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Just Eat was started in Denmark in 2001 and branched out to hungry Brits in 2006. The company today operates on four continents and has more than 36,000 global restaurant partners and almost 6 million active users, according to its website.

The initial public offering is expected to raise 360.1 million pounds assuming no over-allotment option is exercised, with the company receiving 100 million pounds, Just Eat said in a statement today. The share sale represents 24.6 percent of the company’s ordinary shares. If the over-allotment is exercised, the sale will raise 387.1 million pounds, with 26.4 percent of the shares.

The company, well-known for television advertisements featuring chefs with fake Italian accents encouraging cookbooks to be destroyed and spreading the message “Don’t cook, just eat,” had revenue of 96.8 million pounds in 2013 and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 14 million pounds, an increase of 61.9 percent and 518 percent respectively, compared with 2012.

The retailer operates in 13 countries and the U.K. is its largest market.

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