Takeaway.com wins battle to buy Just Eat in £5.9bn deal

Combined company will be one of the world's largest food delivery operations

Ben Chapman
Friday 10 January 2020 18:45 GMT
Comments
Just Eat is the market leader in Britain’s rapidly expanding food delivery market but it faces increasing competition from rivals such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats
Just Eat is the market leader in Britain’s rapidly expanding food delivery market but it faces increasing competition from rivals such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats

Food delivery firm Takeaway.com will buy UK-based rival Just Eat in a £5.9bn deal after a bruising takeover battle.

Just Eat shareholders approved the all-share deal from its Dutch competitor on Friday, clearing the path to create one of the largest takeaway companies in the world.

“I am thrilled,” said Takeaway chief executive Jitse Groen who will lead the combined group.

“Just Eat [and] Takeaway.com is a dream combination and I am very much looking forward to leading the company for many years to come.”

More than 80 per cent of Just Eat's shareholders have accepted the bid, passing the threshold of 50 per cent needed to male the offer unconditional. If the remaining shareholders do not agree before 31 January Takeaway can force the deal through without their backing.

The 889p-per-share deal is expected to finalise in the first quarter of this year.

Takeaway initially bid to takeover JustEat in July, proposing to pay for the deal using its own shares. But in October Dutch internet conglomerate Prosus tried to scupper Takeaway’s approach with its own unsolicited $6.3bn cash bid. Prosus then submitted a further two bids, but Just Eat’s board backed Takeaway’s offer from the start.

Takeaway appeared to seal the deal on 19 December by making an improved offer that will see its shareholders take a smaller slice of the merged company than had previously been proposed.

Just Eat is the market leader in Britain’s rapidly expanding food delivery market but it faces increasing competition from rivals such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Takeaway has likewise expanded quickly in its home markets of Germany and the Netherlands and a race is now on to become the globally dominant player.

The merged company will be headquartered in Amsterdam and listed in London, with 23 subsidiaries in countries mostly in Europe.

Profit margins remain narrow or non-existent however as delivery companies invest in expansion. Just Eat grew revenues 30 per cent in its last half-year but profits plunged to just £800,000.

Takeaway has estimated that the merged company would have had sales of €1.2bn last year with a loss of €43m.

Takeaway has said it is likely to sell off Just Eat’s 33 per cent stake in iFood, Latin America’s biggest delivery site. iFood is controlled by Prosus.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in