December 3, 2019 / 9:07 AM / 11 days ago

Takeaway defends Just Eat bid, says Prosus trying to buy it on cheap

FILE PHOTO: Signage for Just Eat on the window of a restaurant in London, Britain, August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch meal delivery firm Takeaway.com defended its $6.1 billion (4.9 billion pounds) all-share offer for Just Eat on Tuesday, saying rival cash bidder Prosus was trying to buy the British company “on the cheap”, even though its bid is higher.

Takeaway has argued that merging with Just Eat would create a European powerhouse, with dominant market shares in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Just Eat last week advised its shareholders to reject the Prosus offer, saying the lower Takeaway bid was a better bet as it would create the largest food delivery firm outside China.

Takeaway said in a statement addressing points made by Prosus that it had shown “a lack of understanding of the sector”, while underselling the capabilities of the Just Eat-Takeaway combination to generate cash and finance investments.

“Prosus is trying to buy Just Eat on the cheap”, it said.

Takeaway’s all-share bid was worth 694 pence at 0840 GMT on Tuesday, while Prosus is offering 710 pence per share in cash - valuing the company at $6.3 billion (4.9 billion pounds).

Prosus said on Monday its offer was superior and the merger with Takeaway would not fully or effectively address the investment needs of Just Eat in product, technology, marketing and own delivery capabilities.

In recent weeks, Prosus has repeatedly warned Just Eat shareholders of the high risks the Takeaway offer would pose.

One of Just Eat’s prominent shareholders, Cat Rock, has argued that unless Prosus raised its bid to 925 pence, shareholders should continue to support the Takeaway deal.

Reporting by Bart Meijer and Toby Sterling; Editing by Alexander Smith

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