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JPMorgan (JPM) Agrees to Buy Restaurant Recommendation Website

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JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) has agreed to acquire the popular restaurant recommendation website, The Infatuation, in a bid to expand into the dining business, thus, catering to its high-spending credit card customers. The bank will acquire the entire business of The Infatuation, which includes the Zagat brand.

The Infatuation, founded in 2009, is a platform for food and dining, which reviews restaurants across the United States as well as abroad and provides people with honest opinions, helping them find the best restaurant for any situation. The Infatuation purchased the restaurant review brand, Zagat, from Alphabet Inc. (GOOG - Free Report) in 2018.

Even after being acquired by JPMorgan, The Infatuation will retain its independent point of view and operate as a distinct brand under the bank.

Co-CEO of JPMorgan, Marianne Lake, stated, “We’ve long admired The Infatuation’s fresh approach to reaching people with relatable content that inspires new ways to experience life through food and drink, whether it’s down the street or across the globe. We look forward to building on our complementary missions of connecting people to experiences around a shared passion for dining.”

The Infatuation’s CEO and co-founder, Chris Stang, said “This partnership with JPMorgan Chase provides an incredible opportunity for us to engage with more people around the world and continue on The Infatuation’s mission of delivering the most useful and trustworthy recommendations in dining and travel.”

Notably, with the acquisition, JPMorgan is trying to expand its service offerings and provide its credit card holders, especially those of its high-end Sapphire Reserve card, the opportunity to use card reward points and other banking services for meals and travel.

The Wall Street biggie also plans to offer its customers access to The Infatuation’s annual food festival, EEEEEATSCON.

Our Take

Of late, JPMorgan has been undertaking several strategic buyouts. The company has been on an expansion spree for a long time now. Recently, it signed a deal with Volkswagen AG’s (VWAGY - Free Report) subsidiary, Volkswagen Financial Services, in a bid to enter the automotive industry and bolster digital payment competencies.

A few other buyouts announced by the bank in recent months include that of OpenInvest, a 40% stake in Brazil's C6 Bank, the U.K.-based robo-advisor Netmeg and 55ip. These are expected to help boost JPMorgan’s fee income.

So far this year, shares of JPMorgan have gained 25.2% compared with 27% growth recorded by the industry.

 

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Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A better-ranked stock from the same space is State Street Corporation (STT - Free Report) . Its 2021 earnings estimates have been revised upward by 4.8% over the past 60 days. So far this year, shares of the company have gained 20.8%. Currently, it carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).