Naspers Makes $6.3B Hostile Takeover Bid For U.K.-Listed Online Food Delivery Firm

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Prosus hostile takeover
Naspers is determined to dominate the online food delivery market. Africa’s most valuable company launched a hostile takeover bid for a U.K firm. Naspers CEO Bob Van Dijk (left) hits a gong at the start of trade for Prosus shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on Sep. 11, 2019. (Supplied by Naspers)

Africa’s most valuable company, Naspers is determined to dominate the online food delivery market and is convinced that a hostile takeover of a global rival is the way to do it.

The online food delivery market is expected to be worth $331 billion globally by 2022.

South African consumer tech investment giant Naspers aims to become “the world’s leading food delivery business”, according to a press release.

Naspers has launched a takeover bid for the U.K.’s Just Eat, and values the British online food delivery firm at $6.3 billion, according to Techcentral.

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The offer from Naspers is being negotiated through Naspers’ Amsterdam-listed spin-off, Prosus, which is Europe’s biggest consumer tech company.

Naspers held talks with Just Eat but failed to reach an agreement on terms so it said it plans to go directly to shareholders. This is known as a hostile bid.

Naspers’ offer represents an effort to disrupt Just Eat’s plans for a merger with Dutch rival Takeaway.com, first proposed in July.

When the hostile bid was announced, Just Eat’s shares on the London Stock Exchange surged by 24 percent

While Just Eat has rebuffed the takeover offer and urged its shareholders to reject the approach, Naspers argues that it is a better fit for the U.K. firm than Takeaway.com.

Naspers said it believes that Just Eat requires more investment than its management has planned to maintain its growth and defend its market positions in the face of intense competition, Techcentral reports. Just Eat partners with 100,000 restaurants.

Naspers said it does not believe that the proposed merger with Takeaway.com will effectively address that investment need and is confident that Just Eat will have access to the required investment through Naspers’ consumer tech firm, Prosus.

Since 2016, Naspers has invested $2.8 billion in global online food delivery firms that operate in 41 countries along with 400,000 restaurant partners, according to CNN

Acquiring Just Eat will add 13 markets and 100,000 restaurants to Naspers’ online food delivery empire. 

Naspers already has interests globally in the food-delivery sector, including Mr. Delivery in South Africa, Swiggy in India, Germany’s Delivery Hero and iFood in Brazil.