Takeaway.com Lashes Out At Prosus As Just Eat Spat Intensifies

(Alliance News) - The war of words between Just Eat PLC's suitors continued on Wednesday, with ...

Alliance News 11 December, 2019 | 8:57AM
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(Alliance News) - The war of words between Just Eat PLC's suitors continued on Wednesday, with takeover front-runner Takeaway.com NV again taking aim at rival Prosus NV, which again defended its acquisition bid.

Takeaway.com said claims made by internet firm Prosus, which labelled the Dutch company's Just Eat bid as "destructive", were misleading.

Takeaway.com also accused Johannesburg-listed Prosus, recently unbundled from parent Naspers Ltd, of attempting to buy Just Eat "on the cheap".

Takeaway.com said: "Prosus's claim that Takeaway.com's all share offer would be 'highly value destructive' is especially inappropriate given Prosus has destroyed EUR28 billion, or 22%, of its own shareholders' value in the three months since its IPO. Takeaway.com has more than tripled its share price since its IPO."

Earlier this week, Just Eat rejected Prosus's improved 740 pence a share offer because it still "significantly undervalues" the company, preferring a merger with Takeaway.com instead.

Takeaway.com and Just Eat agreed to a combination in July, under which Just Eat shareholders would get 0.09744 of a Takeaway.com share for each Just Eat share held, implying a value for Just Eat at 731 pence per share.

Prosus, and parent Naspers, backed the boosted offer yet again on Wednesday, criticising the "significant risks" of Takeaway.com's bid.

Prosus said: "Prosus continues to believe that its superior cash offer represents compelling and certain value to Just Eat shareholders. The increased offer is at a premium to the look through value of the Takeaway.com offer, and provides certainty of value for Just Eat Shareholders, in contrast to the significant risks associated with the Takeaway.com offer."

According to Takeaway.com, the boosted Prosus offer, which the latter initially said is a 26% premium to Just Eat's share price on October 21, the day before it first made an approach for the London-listed food delivery firm, is a "misleading claim".

The Dutch firm said this is because October 21 was three months after Takeaway.com's offer period for Just Eat started.

Prosus went a step further on Wednesday and said its offer represents an "illustrative premium" of 44% to Just Eat's share price on October 21, when ignoring the effects on the stock price from July's Takeaway.com offer. Prosus said Just Eat's illustrative unaffected share price for October 21 is 512.00p.

Prosus explained: "The illustrative premium of 44% is calculated by reversing the 15% premium on announcement of the Takeaway.com offer out of the 589p Takeaway.com share price on October 21, to establish an illustrative unaffected Just Eat share price for that day of 512p."

Takeaway.com, which also took aim at Prosus for having little experience in the food delivery industry, said the revised offer by the internet firm is only a 16% premium to Just Eat's share price on July 26, the last day of trading before Takeaway.com's offer period began.

"As Takeaway.com has previously stated, Prosus is not an operator and does not run a single food delivery web-site anywhere in the world. Takeaway.com believes that if Prosus understood Just Eat and its markets, it might be willing to pay a proper price for Just Eat which reflects a full cash exit."

Prosus received a boost on Tuesday, after Spanish competition regulators have cleared its potential acquisition of Just Eat.

In Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, Prosus shares were 0.4% higher at ZAR97.4 each. Just Eat was 0.3% lower at 779.00 pence each in early trade in London.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Just Eat PLC 880.60 GBX -0.68 -
Naspers Ltd Class N 243,908.00 ZAC 0.37 -
Prosus NV Ordinary Shares - Class N 67.57 EUR -2.03 -

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