Monday 9 December 2019 10:03 am

Prosus hikes Just Eat bid as it ramps up pressure on rival

Just Eat bidder Prosus today said it has increased its takeover offer, as the tech group looks to fend off a rival bid from

Prosus, which is owned by South African conglomerate Naspers, has hiked its offer from 710p per share to 740p per share.

Read more: slams Prosus ‘scaremondering’ in battle to buy Just Eat

The new bid values Just Eat at roughly £5.1bn – well above the offer tabled by Takeaway.

“Following the announcement of our offer, we have had the opportunity to listen to the views of Just Eat shareholders, share our perspective on the global food delivery sector and reflect on the unquestionable challenges Just Eat faces, as clearly seen in its third-quarter results,” said Prosus chief executive Bob van Dijk.

“We have also had extensive discussions with our own shareholders with regards to our long term strategy for food delivery and Just Eat’s role within that.”

Prosus urged shareholders to accept its offer which it said “delivers certainty in the face of undeniable industry change”.

It added that it has cut the required acceptance rate from 75 per cent to a simple majority – meaning 50 per cent plus one Just Eat share.

Just Eat’s board has recommended Takeaway’s all-share offer, and warned investors not to accept Prosus’s gatecrasher bid.

But the two companies have since been embroiled in a war of words over the deal. Prosus has argued that Takeaway has underestimated the challenges in the UK market, while the Dutch delivery firm has played up its experience as an operator.

Last week activist investor Cat Rock threw its weight behind Takeaway’s bid, saying it would only support Prosus if its offer were raised to 925p per share.

In a statement issued today, the investor branded Prosus’s increased bid “wholly inadequate”, adding that the company was unable to “muster a credible bid”.

“Prosus is struggling to pay a fair price for Just Eat because it lacks a credible plan for winning in the UK,” said Cat Rock founder and managing partner Alex Captain.

Read more: Cat Rock says Prosus will have to raise Just Eat bid to 925p per share

“Throwing money at the market under existing management is not a credible plan.”

The new bid means the deadline for first acceptance on the two offers has been pushed back to 27 December.