Just Eat shareholders end bitter takeaway takeover battle

One of the most brutal takeover battles of the last 12 months ended on Friday as Takeaway.com finally won the right to buy rival Just Eat in a £5.9 billion deal.

More than 80% of Just Eat’s shareholders have accepted the bid from its Dutch peer, making it a done deal. The remaining shareholders now have until January 31 before Takeaway can force a compulsory purchase.

The deal is expected to finalise in the first quarter of this year.

Takeaway initially agreed a takeover with the UK delivery company at the beginning of July. It proposed to pay for the purchase with shares in Takeaway.

But Prosus, an Amsterdam-listed arm of South Africa’s Naspers, tried to muscle in, putting cash on the table in October to try to lure Just Eat shareholders to plump for its rival bid.

The two went toe-to-toe, slinging mud at each others’ offers and trying to win Just Eat approval.

But with the backing of the Just Eat board, Takeaway always looked to have the upper hand.

“I am thrilled that our offer for Just Eat has now formally reached an acceptance level of 80.4%. I wish to thank everybody involved, but especially the Just Eat staff for their patience, in what must have been an uncertain time,” Takeaway chief executive Jitse Groen said on Friday.

He added: “Just Eat-Takeaway.com is a dream combination and I am very much looking forward to leading the company for many years to come.”