Tuesday 3 December 2019 9:10 am

Takeaway.com lashes out at Prosus 'scaremongering' in battle to buy Just Eat

Takeaway.com has accused Prosus, the company it is competing against to buy Just Eat, of “scaremongering” to try to persuade shareholders to accept its rival offer.

The Dutch food delivery firm has had a £5bn bid accepted for Just Eat but tech group Prosus has come in with a rival 710p per share offer.

Read more: Prosus and Takeaway.com trade blows in battle for Just Eat

Takeaway.com chief executive Jitse Groen said Prosus has made “a number of claims over the last few weeks in an attempt to make its highly opportunistic cash offer for Just Eat appear more attractive”.

These included “contradictory assertions” about how much money would need to be put into Just Eat.

He also said Prosus had overstated the risk for shareholders in remaining invested in the London-listed firm, “while itself wanting to assume those apparent costs and risks”.

Groen’s statement echoes a similar warning yesterday from 2.6 per cent Just Eat shareholder Cat Rock, a private equity firm.

Cat Rock said in a letter to fellow shareholders that Prosus had overplayed Just Eat’s challenges as a way to justify a low-ball bid.

Similarly, Just Eat has urged investors not to accept the offer from internet giant Prosus, which is controlled by South African investment behemoth Naspers.

Takeaway.com continued in its announcement this morning that Prosus had demonstrated “a lack of understanding of the sector” by comparing Just Eat to US food delivery firm Grubhub.

“The US online food delivery market is at a very different stage of development to the UK, with Grubhub’s market penetration at around eight per cent in the US compared with Just Eat’s around 23 per cent in the UK,” it said.

Read more: Just Eat investor Cat Rock backs Takeaway offer amid ‘terrible value destruction’

However, Prosus has claimed Takeaway’s offer “takes a narrow view of the food delivery sector based principally on its experience in the Netherlands and Germany”.

These markets “have so far been relatively insulated” from competition of the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo, it added.

Just Eat shares were down 0.13 per cent this morning.