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Prosus increases price of hostile Just Eat bid to £5.05bn

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
The war between Prosus and Takeaway.com over Just Eat has become increasingly acrimonious in recent weeks. Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville.

Prosus (PRX.AS), the European arm of technology investment firm Naspers, on Monday increased its offer for Just Eat (JE.L) to £5.05bn, escalating the heated battle for the food delivery firm.

At 740p per share, the bid is roughly 4.5% more than that of Takeaway.com (TKWY.AS), which is hoping to merge with Just Eat and create a global food delivery giant.

Prosus, who had been hoping to achieve the backing of 75% of Just Eat shareholders, also said on Monday that it would push ahead with the deal if just 50% of shareholders approved of its bid.

READ MORE: Takeaway.com accuses rival Just Eat bidder of 'scaremongering'

In July, Just Eat and Takeaway.com agreed in principle to the merger, which would create a firm worth around £9bn. The Takeaway.com bid is valued at around 708p per share as of Friday’s closing price.

But Prosus gatecrashed the bid with a hostile takeover attempt, and has continually pressed ahead with its all-cash offer, even as Just Eat’s board has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the bid from Takeaway.com.

Prosus said on Monday that it had engaged in “extensive discussions” with Just Eat shareholders and that it decided to raise its offer price following “careful consideration”.

“Prosus believes the increased offer underscores its commitment to the transaction and constitutes attractive and certain value for Just Eat Shareholders,” it said in a statement.

The war between the two firms has become increasingly acrimonious in recent weeks, with Takeaway.com last week accusing Prosus of “scaremongering” Just Eat shareholders.

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“Prosus has made a number of claims over the last few weeks in an attempt to make its highly opportunistic cash offer for Just Eat appear more attractive,” said Jitse Groen, the CEO of Takeaway.com, said.

Prosus said on Monday that Just Eat had “accepted” that the firm required increased investment, furthering its claim that the tie-up with Takeaway.com would not be sufficient to secure its future.

Takeaway.com said last week that Prosus “persistently makes contradictory assertions about large future investment requirements and significant risks for shareholders,” in a bid to frighten them into selling their shares.

On Monday, major Just Eat shareholder Cat Rock Capital said that the increased Prosus bid was still “wholly inadequate”.

“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 Alex Captain, the managing partner of Cat Rock Capital.