Takeaway issues shares after watchdog gives Just Eat buy final approval

AMSTERDAM, April 23 (Reuters) - Europe’s largest online food ordering service Just Eat NV moved quickly to shore up its finances with an overnight share and convertible bond issue, as Britain’s competition watchdog gave the company’s merger final approval.

Takeaway bought Just Eat in January after a long takeover fight.

Takeaway said on Thursday it had raised 400 million euros ($433 million), representing a 3.2% dilution of its stock base, from an accelerated overnight offering to institutional investors. Shares were issued at 87 euros per share, a 3.7% discount to its closing price on Wednesday.

The company also issued 300 million euros in convertible bonds.

The money will be used to pay down credit facilities used by both Just Eat and Takeaway and “for general corporate purposes as well as to provide the company with financial flexibility to act on strategic opportunities.

Separately Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority said it was unconditionally approving the companies’ merger.

Takeaway and Just East, operating separately until last week, have each said they saw an initial shock from the coronavirus outbreak, but orders are recovering.

“In this case, we carefully considered whether could have re-entered the UK market in future, giving people more choice,” CMA mergers director Colin Raftery said in a statement.

“But after gathering additional evidence which indicates this deal will not reduce competition, it is also the right decision to now clear the merger.”


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