Going Dutch

The Hague (AFP) - Dutch online service Takeaway.com said Friday it had won a battle for Britain’s Just Eat, beating a hostile bid by tech firm Prosus to create one of the world’s largest food delivery platforms.

The combination of the two firms will create a delivery service worth around nine billion pounds ($11 billion) capable of competing against Britain-based Deliveroo and Uber Eats of the United States.

Prosus, the Dutch-listed consumer tech company which is owned by South African media titan Naspers, had offered 5.5 billion pounds ($7.1 billion) to buy Just Eat.

“I am thrilled,” Takeaway.com CEO Jitse Groen said, confirming that 80.4 percent of JustEat shareholders had accepted the deal, well above the threshold of 50 percent plus one share needed for the bid to succeed.

“Just Eat Takeaway.com is a dream combination”.

He thanked Just Eat staff for their “patience in what must have been an uncertain time”.

Just Eat and Takeaway.com unveiled in July a plan to join forces to create a heavyweight in the rapidly-growing food delivery sector.

But Prosus then stepped in with a string of increasingly large “hostile” bids – in that they were not solicited or pre-approved by the target company’s board.

Just East rejected those as too low and in December confirmed its taste for a share swap with a face value that was higher than Prosus’s cash effort, but subject to fluctuation in the Dutch company’s share price.

Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk said on Friday that the firm had not made any further offers because Just Eat was “an attractive business though one which will require significant investment.”

Just Eat provides an online website and app to enable customers to buy food from their local takeaway restaurants, taking a cut from delivery orders.