The board of Just Eat is backing a plan to merge with Dutch firm Takeaway.com, as a bidding war for the British food delivery giant reaches its final stages.
The company said it would support a new offer from Takeaway of 916p per share after it and rival suitor Prosus made their final bids on Thursday.
Takeaway had increased its all-share bid from 731p, tabled in July, while Prosus offered 800p in cash, up from its most recent 710p bid.
The Prosus offer valued Just Eat at £5.5 billion. Its original bid of 710p a share was worth £4.9 billion.
The two bidders, both based in the Netherlands, have been manoeuvring for control of Britain’s largest takeaway firm since October. At that time, Prosus was trying to muscle Takeaway out of a deal it had agreed with Just Eat two months earlier.
Prosus said its 800p offer remains open to shareholders, but it will not buy any shares in Just Eat unless its bid is accepted.
“We have always stated that we would remain disciplined with respect to price on acquiring Just Eat, balancing our desire to own an attractive business with the need for significant investment in that business while maintaining acceptable returns for Prosus shareholders,” said chief executive Bob van Dijk.
Mr van Dijk has previously said his cash offer is more stable for Just Eat shareholders than Takeaway’s bid, which would be paid purely in the suitor’s shares.
Takeaway.com chief executive Jitse Groen said on Thursday: “This offer is a full offer, and on top of that we believe it provides Just Eat shareholders with tremendous upside.
“The all-share combination establishes the largest global platform in online food delivery outside China and allows shareholders of both Just Eat and Takeaway.com to benefit from significant long-term value creation.”