Private equity shop Spectrum Equity Investors has paid $50 million for a minority stake in SeamlessWeb, a site that allows consumers to order restaurant delivery over the Internet. The firm is buying the stake from ARAMARK Corp. The company will use the infusion to help with expansion and possible acquisitions, the company announced in a press release Wednesday. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Spectrum. An earlier version of this story misspelled Spectrum’s investment.
ARAMARK Corporation, a world leader in professional services and Spectrum Equity Investors, a leading private equity firm that invests in innovative digital media and e-commerce businesses, today announced that they have completed a transaction in which Spectrum has acquired from ARAMARK a minority stake in SeamlessWeb, the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering service, for $50 million. Following the transaction, SeamlessWeb’s operations will be separated from those of ARAMARK.
“This transaction enables SeamlessWeb to pursue accelerated expansion, product innovation and opportunistic acquisitions,” said Jonathan Zabusky, Chief Executive Officer of SeamlessWeb. “SeamlessWeb is a leader in online and mobile food ordering. Now as an independent organization with the benefit of additional strategic insight at the board level from the highly accomplished team at Spectrum, we look forward to taking our brand and offering to the next level by developing the most robust and integrated local, social, mobile food ordering and e-commerce platform.”
“We are very pleased to partner with Spectrum in the further growth and development of SeamlessWeb. While SeamlessWeb has performed extremely well as a wholly-owned part of ARAMARK, we feel that the addition of Spectrum as a significant investor and the establishment of a separate governance structure will position the company to fully capitalize on the significant opportunities that lie ahead, particularly in the direct-to-consumer segment,” said Joseph Neubauer, ARAMARK’s Chairman and CEO.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to invest in the clear leader in online and mobile food ordering,” said Ben Spero, Managing Director of Spectrum Equity. “SeamlessWeb has created a differentiated consumer experience and brand in a category which has tremendous growth potential. We look forward to partnering with Jonathan, the management team and ARAMARK in supporting the Company’s continued innovation and vision.”
SeamlessWeb’s robust digital marketplace promotes, markets and connects local restaurants with business and consumer customers across multiple platforms. The Company’s leading restaurant network includes over 7,000 restaurants in 27 cities globally, including New York, London, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and over one million individuals have ordered through the platform to-date.
As the pioneer in online food ordering and the largest business in the category, SeamlessWeb has continued to rapidly expand. The Company’s managed volume growth has increased significantly year-over-year – particularly with consumers – and is projected to exceed $400 million in 2011, including recent growth of over 250% in the Boston metro area and 150% in Washington D.C. In the 10 months since the Company launched its first mobile application, mobile orders have also grown dramatically to now account for over 14% of weekend consumer demand.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Spectrum in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan served as financial advisors and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to ARAMARK in connection with the transaction.
SeamlessWeb is the nation’s leading food ordering service. Founded in 1999, the company powers a comprehensive e-commerce solution for thousands of restaurants and a vast community of diners via SeamlessWeb.com, SeamlessWeb.com mobile, native iPhone, BlackBerry and Android applications, and restaurant-specific websites. Over one million individuals and many of the world’s largest companies have made SeamlessWeb their preferred service for online food ordering by placing more than 50 million food orders through the company’s websites.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies,” and as one of America’s Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company’s Web site, www.aramark.com, or www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
About Spectrum Equity Investors
Spectrum Equity Investors is a private equity firm focused on investing in profitable and innovative businesses with significant opportunities for future growth. Founded in 1994 with offices in Boston and Menlo Park, Spectrum has raised $4.7 billion in capital across six funds. Spectrum has been an active investor in digital media franchises including Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM), Demand Media (NYSE: DMD), NetQuote (acquired by Bankrate), and SurveyMonkey, as well as information service providers such as iPay Technologies (acquired by Jack Henry & Associates), RiskMetrics Group (acquired by MSCI), Seisint (acquired by LexisNexis/Reed Elsevier), and World-Check (acquired by Thomson Reuters).