Prosus makes hostile R93bn bid for food delivery company

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Prosus NV, the new Naspers-owned [JSE:NPN] global digital company, has made  a hostile bid for the UK-based food delivery company Just Eat.

Prosus announced the terms of its all-cash offer on Tuesday, saying it decided to approach Just Eat shareholders to consider the offer after negotiations with Just Eat management did not lead to an agreement. It said the deal values Just Eat at £4.9bn (R93bn).

Just Eat has 27m customers, and 107 000 participating restaurants, in the UK, Australia, France, Brazil and other markets. It was founded in Denmark in 2001 by five entrepreneurs and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Last year, the group processed almost R80bn in orders. 

Prosus has recently approached the board of Just Eat with a number of proposals, according to the Prosus statement. The parties have, however, not managed to reach an agreement. That is why Prosus is taking its offer directly to shareholders. 

In the terms of the offer, Just Eat shareholders will be entitled to receive 710 pence in cash for each Just Eat share. On Tuesday morning, Just Eat's share price jumped by 24% to 730p following the Prosus statement.

Prosus owns a number of food delivery businesses, including iFood in Latin America, Swiggy in India, and Delivery Hero, which operates in 41 markets.

"We believe our global experience and resources can help Just Eat to achieve its significant potential. Our plan is to support the Just Eat management team, with whom we have worked closely as joint investors in iFood, to deliver on the exciting opportunities to grow the business," Bob van Dijk, the Group CEO of Prosus, said.

"We believe that Just Eat’s customers and restaurant partners will ultimately benefit from more delivery options, greater restaurant choice as well as improved service and delivery speeds driven by the combined group’s expertise in product and technology innovation supported by increased capital investment in the business. As a combined group, we see significant growth and value creation potential.

"We presented this idea to the Board of Just Eat, in good faith, but we have been unable to engage constructively in what we see as a compelling proposition for Just Eat shareholders. As an investor and operator with significant experience in this dynamic and competitive sector, both globally and on a local level, we believe we are best placed to support Just Eat through its next phase of essential investment. We aim to deliver value by eliminating operational execution risk and providing certainty for Just Eat’s shareholders today at an attractive premium.”

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