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Sat 27th Jul 2019 - Sky News – Just Eat in £9bn merger talks with
Sky News – Just Eat in £9bn merger talks with Just Eat, the market place for online food delivery, is in talks about a £9bn merger with Dutch-headquartered rival Discussions about a deal have been taking place for several weeks, reports Sky News. Banking sources said a tie-up could be announced as soon as next week, when both companies are scheduled to publish financial results. A merged Just Eat and would be an international behemoth in the delivery of meals from restaurants such as Burger King, KFC and Subway, as well as thousands of independent outlets. Together, they operate in more than 20 countries, such as the UK, Australia, France, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico and Israel. They boast a combined customer base of 40 million users, and recorded total revenues of about £1bn last year. Industry insiders said Naspers, which owns the rival service Delivery Hero, and Uber, which has also built a significant presence in the market through the UberEats app, had also shown interest in a deal with Just Eat. A source cautioned a merger between Just Eat and could yet be scuppered by an interloper‎. A completed deal is expected to result in the combined group being listed in London, with a market value of about £9bn. Mike Evans, Just Eat's chairman, is likely to continue in the role, while the leading contender to be the enlarged company's chief executive expected to be Jitse Groen, who founded in 2000. Just Eat has been without a chief executive since January, when Peter Plumb, the former Moneysupermarket boss, stepped down after less than 18 months at the helm. The company's shares have been under pressure this year, and have fallen by 28% during the past 12 months amid ‎calls from some investors to pursue M&A opportunities. The intention to pursue a deal with comes five months after Cat Rock Capital Management, an activist investor which owns 2% of Just Eat's shares, advocated such a move. Cat Rock, ‎which is also a shareholder in, has been a public critic of Just Eat's strategy. A merger between Just Eat and would pave the way for substantial cost savings if their head offices were to be amalgamated. It would also be complementary from a revenue perspective, since there is little geographical overlap between the two companies' operations. Switzerland is the only country in which both companies currently operate. At Friday's (26 July) close in London, Just Eat had a market value of £4.25bn, while in Amsterdam, was worth €5.05bn (£4.5bn). A merger would come at a time of intensifying competition in the industry. In May, Amazon led a $575m fund-raising by Deliveroo. Last month, however, the Competition and Markets Authority‎ ordered Amazon to halt the capital injection, saying it had concerns about its implications for the sector if they were to merge. Goldman Sachs and UBS are understood to be advising Just Eat on the merger talks, while is being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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