You can order your dinner through us, but you can't buy us.
That was the very clear message from Grubhub (GRUB) - Get Grubhub, Inc. Report on Friday following reports this week that it was considering “strategic options” - corporate-speak for a sale or acquisition.
Citing unnamed sources, both the Wall Street Journal and New York Post earlier this week reported that Grubhub had enlisted financial advisers to explore various strategic options, including a sale.
The New York Post also reported that executives from Walmart (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report and other grocers were talking to Grubhub management. The Journal also said the company was exploring contingency plans in the event an activist investor preys on it.
But Grubhub put a quick and decisive end to that narrative.
“We felt it was important to clarify that there is unequivocally no process in place to sell the company and there are currently no plans to do so,” the company said.
“We have always consulted advisers about a broad range of issues, including potential acquisition opportunities - that has not changed."
The real challenge for all food-delivery companies are margins and, in turn, profits.
Indeed, investors and analysts aren't ruling 'strategic option' plans for Grubhub and other online food-ordering companies in general, which have done well in attracting users to their platforms but have fared less spectacularly on the profit front.
Travis Kalanick, Uber's (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report co-founder and former CEO, last month sold $2.5 billion of Uber stock, prompting speculation that he was using the cash for CloudKitchens, his next venture focused on generic kitchens that restaurants rent capacity in to create food for delivery.