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Prosus raises bid for Just Eat, pressure now on rival Takeaway

[AMSTERDAM] Prosus, the Dutch-based technology giant, has raised its unsolicited cash offer for British food delivery service Just Eat to US$6.5 billion, ratcheting up pressure on rival suitor Takeaway , it said on Monday.

Prosus's increased offer of 740 pence (S$13.25) per share from 710 pence is about 5 per share higher than a rival all-share deal from Takeaway.com, which has the backing the board of Just Eat.

Netherlands-based Prosus also lowered its acceptance threshold for Just Eat shareholders to 50 per share plus one share from 75 per share previously, and it extended its offer period through Dec. 27.

Prosus said that although its new offer is only slightly higher than Takeaway's, it is still around 25 per share above the level where Just Eat shares were trading before it entered the bidding in October.

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"Prosus believes the increased offer underscores its commitment to the transaction and constitutes attractive and certain value for Just Eat shareholders," CEO Bob van Dijk said in a statement.

"Unlike the Takeaway.com offer, which relies on (its) shares remaining at an above-sector multiple, our cash offer provides certainty of value to Just Eat shareholders."

Takeaway CEO Jitse Groen issued a statement on Monday urging Just Eat shareholders to accept his company's offer.

"Through this merger, we will combine our two great companies to create the largest global platform in online food delivery outside China."

"Unfortunately, Prosus is attempting to derail the combination and instead buy your company with a hostile, low-ball cash offer ... "If it succeeds, it will keep Just Eat's value creation potential for itself."

Both sides are due to report on how many shares their offers have won by Dec 12. If neither has emerged as winner, Britain's Takeover Panel will start an auction process from Dec 27.

REUTERS