Prosus NV (EU:PRX)
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By Adria Calatayud
Prosus NV (PRX.AE) on Monday raised its offer for Just Eat PLC (JE.LN) to 5.1 billion pounds ($6.70 billion), or 740 pence a share, stepping up a bidding fight for the U.K. food-delivery company with Takeaway.com NV (TKWY.AE).
Prosus, an Amsterdam-listed company which was spun out of South African investor Naspers Ltd. (NPN.JO) earlier this year and is best known for housing a major stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. (0700.HK), also lowered the level of acceptances required for the offer to proceed to a simple majority from 75% previously.
The move by Prosus heats up the battle for control of a company that has been under pressure from startups with deep-pocketed backers like Deliveroo--which counts Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) as one of its biggest investors--and Uber Technologies Inc.'s (UBER) meal-delivery arm Uber Eats.
The new offer represents a 4.2% increase on Prosus's latest offer of 710 pence a share and comes at a premium to Takeaway's agreed offer value when it was announced in July. However, the bid is still below Just Eat's current share price. Just Eat shares at 0850 GMT traded 0.7% higher at 782.20 pence.
Prosus said it raised the offer after listening to Just Eat shareholders' views and following discussions with its own shareholders. The new proposal gives Just Eat investors certainty of value while allowing Prosus to target appropriate returns for its shareholders, the company said.
"We believe the investment required is substantial and this impacts our view of potential returns. As disciplined investors we obviously need to factor the required investment into our value considerations," Prosus Chief Executive Bob van Dijk said.
Takeaway's all-stock proposal, which has been recommended by Just Eat's board, valued the U.K. company at 731 pence a share based on the Dutch company's share price of 83.55 euros ($92.37) on the last day before the deal was first disclosed in July, but its value has declined since then.
Takeaway on Monday urged Just Eat shareholders to back its offer and said it still believes its recommended offer for the U.K. company is far superior to Prosus's bid, which it called "opportunistic and derisory."
Adriano Marchese contributed to this article
Write to Adria Calatayud at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 09, 2019 04:10 ET (09:10 GMT)
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