Home Markets Deliveroo serves up Arney as chair ahead of London float

Deliveroo serves up Arney as chair ahead of London float

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One of Britain’s most prominent businesswomen is being lined up to chair Deliveroo, the food delivery service, as it applies the finishing touches to a blockbuster London flotation.

Sky News has learnt that Claudia Arney will join the board of Deliveroo in the run-up to what is likely to be among the City’s most prominent initial public offerings of 2021.

City sources said that Ms Arney’s appointment could be announced as early as Wednesday.

Her arrival on the board of Deliveroo and its prospective multibillion pound flotation will come amid a frenzy of corporate activity in the global food delivery sector, with revenues and profits fuelled by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Arney currently holds directorships at the Premier League, Ocado, Kingfisher and Derwent London, the property developer.

Her executive career included stints at the Treasury and the media groups Emap and Pearson.

Deliveroo’s decision to recruit a heavyweight independent chair implies that it may seek a premium listing that would make it eligible for inclusion in London’s blue-chip share indices.

Will Shu, the company’s founder and chief executive, is said to be keen to ensure that the food delivery service has a robust corporate governance framework in place before it goes public.

Will Shu, the company’s founder and chief executive, is said to be keen to ensure that the food delivery service has a robust corporate governance framework in place before it goes public.

Deliveroo is likely to emerge as a beneficiary of the further month-long lockdown in England as consumers turn to takeaway food services, although the COVID-19 crisis has also presented challenges as it has adapted its operations in different countries amid rapidly changing government restrictions.

The company said recently that it would donate hundreds of thousands of free meals to the NHS, repeating an initiative it launched earlier in the year.

Deliveroo had previously signalled that it would add 15,000 riders to its fleet by the end of year, and has launched a number of additional services such as on-demand convenience and grocery partnerships with Waitrose, Morrisons and the Co-op.

Deliveroo now has nearly 45,000 restaurants on its platform in the UK, and it has recently started allowing customers to reward riders after their delivery has arrived.

It has also announced the launch of a service called Brought to you by Deliveroo, which will allow customers to order food from restaurants’ websites, but with the tech company fulfilling the orders’ delivery.

Deliveroo’s brighter prospects come amid a torrid period for many of its restaurant partners, with hospitality chiefs warning that hundreds of thousands of jobs will disappear from the sector without further state support.

Leon, the healthy fast food chain, has become the latest operator to draw up plans for an insolvency mechanism known as a company voluntary arrangement.

The return to a tiering system of restrictions is expected to deepen the pain across the sector during its busiest period of the year.

Deliveroo declined to comment on Tuesday evening.

Read from source: https://news.sky.com/story/deliveroo-serves-up-arney-as-chair-ahead-of-london-float-12141120