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Takeaway CEO Doesn’t Want to Overpay With Just Eat Bid

Amy Thomson

(Bloomberg) -- Takeaway.com NV Chief Executive Officer Jitse Groen said it doesn’t make sense to overpay in its bid to gain control of U.K. rival Just Eat Plc.

“I don’t want to be the idiot that runs into a ratio that doesn’t make any sense,” Groen said Wednesday at the sidelines of the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Barcelona.

Takeaway is currently battling Prosus NV, which officially filed its hostile offer for Just Eat on Monday. Just Eat investors have complained about both the 710 pence-per-share cash offer from Prosus and Takeaway’s all-stock offer, currently valued at about 626 pence. Neither company has indicated that they’d raise the bid.

“We will be disciplined in our approach as in all M&A situations,” a spokesman for Takeaway said in an email. “For obvious regulatory reasons, we cannot speculate about the terms of the offer.”

Takeaway published a presentation on Wednesday expanding on the rationale behind its bid, adding that it expects to launch its Scoober courier service to the U.K, which is projected to incur costs in the tens of millions of euros per year.

Takeaway also pointed out that it expects to cut costs by consolidating Just Eat’s five IT platforms, starting in Continental Europe.

Just Eat and Takeaway have a lot of overlap in their shareholder base and so the Takeaway offer is getting a lot of investor support, Groen said.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, which holds about 5% of Just Eat, said that Prosus needs to increase its offer by 20%. The investor also wanted Takeaway to increase its bid. Eminence Capital, which holds about 4%, in September said Takeaway’s bid undervalued Just Eat and that it planned to vote against that deal.

“The Takeaway.com materials published today continue to underestimate the level of investment required in a sector that is changing rapidly,” Prosus said in a statement Wednesday.

(Updates with comment from Takeaway in fourth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in Barcelona at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack

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