Just Eat rejects higher £5.1bn Prosus offer as bidding battle rages on

Just Eat has rebuffed the latest attempt by South Africa’s Naspers to derail its planned deal with rival Takeaway.com, saying the £5.1 billion sweetened bid undervalues the group.

Just Eat said the offer from Naspers’ Dutch-listed investment vehicle Prosus – which was raised on Monday to 740p a share from 710p a share – “significantly undervalues” the company.

The group said it continues to back its planned all-share deal with Takeaway.com, which was agreed earlier this year.

It comes after Prosus said on Monday its sweetened cash bid “provides certainty of value to Just Eat shareholders”.

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

In its latest rejection, Just Eat said the increased bid was just 16% higher than its share price in July before talks with Takeaway.com were revealed and 5% lower than the closing price of 777p a share on Monday.

Just Eat said: “The board unanimously recommends that shareholders reject the Prosus offer of 740 pence per share and continues to believe that the Takeaway.com combination is based on a compelling strategic rationale that allows shareholders to participate in the upside potential of the enlarged group.”

Prosus boss Bob van Dijk has already 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 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.