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Prosus hopes more cash will help deliver on £5.1bn Just Eat bid

By August Graham, PA City Reporter

A Dutch company locked in a battle with one of its local rivals to take over takeaway delivery firm Just Eat has added an extra £200 million to its offer for the British company.

Prosus said it was upping its bid to £5.1 billion, from £4.9 billion, as it tries to outdo an offer from its countrymen at Takeaway.com, who agreed a deal with Just Eat earlier this year.

It comes after Takeaway’s share price has increased by nearly a fifth since Prosus entered the race in late October. This has pushed up the value of Takeaway’s offer as it plans to pay Just Eat shareholders in Takeaway stock.

Meanwhile, Prosus boss Bob van Dijk lowered the threshold that his offer would have to reach for it to be considered successful. Now just over 50% of shareholders will have to accept the deal. Originally the company had said it was looking for 90% acceptance, but it revised this down in November to 75%.

The deadline for shareholders to accept the deal has been extended to December 27.

“Just Eat is a quality business, which we believe has all the ingredients to be transformed into a long-term sector winner,” Mr van Dijk said.

“In recognition of this potential, we have decided to increase our offer to 740 pence per share, which we believe provides Just Eat shareholders with compelling value and therefore good reason to accept our all-cash offer.

“Unlike the Takeaway.com offer, which relies on shares remaining at an above sector multiple, our cash offer provides certainty of value to Just Eat shareholders.”

But Takeaway.com boss Jitse Groen hit back at Prosus. “A slightly higher derisory cash bid remains a derisory cash bid,” he said.

The board of Just Eat has repeatedly rejected Mr van Dijk’s advances since his offer was first made public on October 22.

On Monday, activist investor Cat Rock, which has a 2.5% stake in Just Eat and a 4% stake in Takeaway.com, said Prosus would have to offer around 925p per share to compete.

“Prosus continues to dramatically undervalue Just Eat with its revised 740p per share offer. This revised Prosus offer is wholly inadequate and shows Just Eat shareholders that Prosus cannot muster a credible bid,” said Cat Rock Capital’s founder Alex Captain.

Just Eat told its shareholders to sit tight while it reviews the new offer.