Waitr is about to be kicked off the Nasdaq stock exchange. Here's what to know

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Lafayette-based delivery service ASAP — previously named Waitr — will lose its listing on the Nasdaq exchange, the company said in a filing to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, after efforts to raise its share price came up short.

Here's what you need to know about what the delisting means for ASAP.

What does "delisting" mean and why did ASAP lose its listing?

Each stock exchange has rules that have to be met to continue to be listed. ASAP was notified in January 2022 that it was not in compliance with a Nasdaq rule that requires listed companies to have a share price above $1. ASAP's share price had dropped below $1 for 30 consecutive business days, putting it out of compliance.

ASAP had until July 2022 to get its price above $1 for 10 consecutive business days, but it was given a 180-day extension until January 2023. On January 24, the company was notified that it would be delisted.

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The delisting essentially means ASAP's shares won't be sold on the Nasdaq's exchange beginning Feb. 2. At that time, the company expects to be listed on the OTCQB — called "The Venture Market" — which is a middle-tier exchange.

What led to ASAP being delisted?

When ASAP was notified that it was at risk of being delisted back in January 2022, it wasn't the first time the company had gotten that notice. In December 2019, ASAP was notified that its share price was not in compliance and was at risk of being delisted.

The company had a turbulent 2019 leading up to the potential delisting including a public battle with many of its restaurant partners during the summer of 2019 after ASAP changed the payment structure and had the restaurants pay credit card processing fees. As a result, many restaurants weighed leaving the platform.

In August 2019, the company's founder, Chris Meaux, resigned as CEO and the company was hinting at a potential merger or sale. About a month later, Joseph Stough, the company's president, would also resign. In October 2019, two board members and the company's chief financial officer announced their resignations.

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ASAP's woes continued for the next few months. In November 2019, the company announced it lost $220.1 million during the third quarter and said it would cease operations in several markets and lay off around 50% of its sales staff.

Adam Price, the CEO who took the role after Meaux, announced his resignation after only a few months in the position. The company hired Carl Grimstad, the manager of a family investment firm, to head the company.

The company ultimately ended up avoiding its delisting then, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many restaurants nationwide pivoting to delivery or pickup, the pandemic was something of a renaissance for the company, which posted profits in multiple quarters. ASAP also expanded its offerings during that time, including grocery delivery.

But as the pandemic waned, so did ASAP's share price. The company made more changes.

In 2021, the business settled a lawsuit with the California-based, which required Waitr to change its name to ASAP and pay $4.7 million. As part of the rebrand, the company was doubling down on a "deliver anything" strategy.

How did ASAP try to avoid the delisting?

ASAP's leadership heavily pushed a reverse stock split as a potential solution to the company's low share price. Basically, the company combined multiple outstanding shares into a single share. The company's shareholders shot down one attempt at the reverse split, but it ultimately approved a plan in 2022.

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At the same time, the company was continuing to face financial troubles and reported a $77 million loss in the first quarter of 2022. Following a loss in the third quarter of $73.5 million, the company said it would lay off nearly 90 workers in Lafayette.

The reverse split had some success, raising the share price to $1.82 after a 1:20 reverse split, but it fell back below $1 a few days later.