Tue, Jul 30, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Deal-hungry Takeaway.com delivers US$10 billion takeover of Just Eat


Amsterdam-based online food delivery firm Takeaway.com NV has agreed to buy Just Eat PLC in an all-share deal valuing the combined group, which would be one of the sector’s largest, at about £8.2 billion (US$10.1 billion).

The companies, which revealed talks on Saturday, yesterday said that they would have leadership positions in many of the world’s largest food delivery markets including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.

London-listed Just Eat shareholders are to receive 0.09744 Takeaway.com shares for each share, implying a value of £7.31 per Just Eat share, a 15 percent premium to their closing price on Friday, the two companies said.

Just Eat shares rose 21 percent to £7.75, while Takeaway’s were up almost 5 percent following details of terms of the deal.

Activist investor Cat Rock, which has holdings in both companies, has been pushing Just Eat to merge with a rival such as Takeaway, which has been driving sector consolidation.

Takeaway completed the 930 million euro (US$1.03 billion) takeover of the German activities of Delivery Hero this year, settling a costly battle for supremacy in the German food delivery market.

The firm, which said it is the leading food deliverer in continental Europe, Israel and Vietnam, has argued that the online food ordering business would be highly profitable for just one player in each country.

However, analysts at Investec PLC said there was limited geographical overlap between the two companies, with the exception they believed of Switzerland.

This “means the opportunity revolves around leveraging technology spend and administrative costs, in our view, and the sharing of best practice” they said. “This is presumably not insignificant, but less attractive than if they overlapped.”

Just Eat shareholders would own about 52.2 percent of the combined group, which together last year had 360 million orders worth 7.3 billion euros.

Just Eat chairman Mike Evans is to chair the combined group, while Takeway.com chief executive Jitse Groen would assume the role of chief executive officer at the company, which would be incorporated, headquartered and domiciled in Amsterdam.

The business requires large investments in the food delivery service, which Takeaway views as a marketing tool rather than a potentially profitable business.

The two groups make profit from the deals with restaurants whose food people order through their platforms.

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