Just Eat soars as £4.9bn rival bid tabled by Prosus

Just Eat has become the centre of a bidding war after investment firm Prosus announced a £4.9 billion bid to buy the food delivery group, months after it agreed a merger with Dutch rival takeaway.com.

Shares in Just Eat soared after the global tech investor announced the 710p per share offer for the UK-based firm.

In July, Just Eat announced plans to merge with Dutch delivery firm Takeaway.com in a £9 billion deal.

Prosus said its offer provides a 20% premium to the 594p per share offer from Takeaway.com.

The bidder said it approached the board of directors at Just Eat with a number of proposals but failed to secure an agreement.

It said it decided to make its bid public to give shareholders an opportunity to consider the offer.

Prosus already has a significant investment portfolio in the food delivery sector, including iFood in Latin America, Swiggy in Indian and European business Delivery Hero.

Bob van Dijk, the group chief executive officer of Prosus, said: “We believe our global experience and resources can help Just Eat to achieve its significant potential.

“We believe that Just Eat’s customers and restaurant partners will ultimately benefit from more delivery options, greater restaurant choice as well as improved service and delivery speeds driven by the combined group’s expertise in product and technology innovation supported by increased capital investment in the business.

“We presented this idea to the board of Just Eat, in good faith, but we have been unable to engage constructively in what we see as a compelling proposition for Just Eat shareholders.

“As an investor and operator with significant experience in this dynamic and competitive sector, both globally and on a local level, we believe we are best placed to support Just Eat through its next phase of essential investment.”

On Monday, Just Eat posted rapidly growing sales in the third quarter despite a backdrop of “softer consumer spending”.

Shares in the company jumped 23.5% to 728p.

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