Shareholders of online food delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway have approved its proposed $7.3bn (£5.6bn) acquisition of US rival Grubhub, but rejected a pay package for the company’s US chief executive.
The group agreed to buy Grubhub in June in an all-share deal that would make the combined group the biggest food delivery company outside China.
Just Eat Takeaway said it expects the deal to close in the first half of next year, pending approval from regulators and Grubhub shareholders.
Takeaway founder and chief executive Jitse Groen is to become head of the Takeaway-Grubhub combination, which will be based in Amsterdam, while Grubhub chief executive Matthew Maloney is set to lead its North American business.
While Takeaway shareholders approved Maloney’s appointment to the company’s board, they rejected a separate motion setting out the terms of his pay.
Maloney was to have received a $745,000 (£577,000) base salary in 2021, with long-term stocks and options grants of up to 1,000 per cent of that amount as part of a long-term incentive plan, according to a Takeaway shareholder circular, Reuters reported.
Dutch food group Takeaway.com bought British competitor Just Eat last year, but shares in the newly-merged companies did not start trading until February 2020 amid regulatory scrutiny of the deal.
Large stock bonuses such as the one proposed for Maloney are rare in the Netherlands, and were capped at 100 per cent of base pay for executives in the financial industry following the financial crisis.
Takeaway’s shareholder circular had specified that the merger itself was not conditional on shareholders’ accepting Maloney’s new pay deal. The companies said before the vote that the pay package was designed to ensure Maloney remained with the company.
“We will discuss the outcome (of the vote) with Grubhub and Matt,” a Takeaway spokesperson told Reuters. “Unfortunately we can’t comment further at this time.” A Grubhub spokeswoman declined to comment.
Just Eat Takeaway.com’s London-listed shares ended Tuesday 0.16 per cent higher following news of the Grubhub deal’s progress. Shares in Grubhub rose 0.92 per cent in New York.
Takeaway.com is currently loss-making, but the company has experienced a surge in demand this year as more customers opted for takeaways during the coronavirus lockdown.