for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up shareholders vote yes to Grubhub, no to U.S. CEO's pay

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Just Eat NV, the online food-ordering company, on Wednesday said its shareholders approved its proposed $6.9 billion purchase of rival Grubhub , but rejected a pay package for the U.S company’s CEO Matthew Maloney.

Riders for "Grubhub" food delivery service congregate between deliveries in midtown Manhattan following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Takeaway agreed in June to buy Grubhub in a deal to create a transatlantic group which would be the biggest food delivery business outside China.

Takeaway founder and CEO Jitse Groen is to become head of the Takeaway-Grubhub combination, which will be based in Amsterdam, while Grubhub CEO Maloney is set to lead its North American business.

Takeaway shareholders approved Maloney’s appointment to the board, but rejected a separate motion setting out the terms of his pay.

Maloney was to have received a $745,000 base salary in 2021, with long-term stocks and options grants of up to 1,000% of that amount as part of a long-term incentive plan, a Takeaway shareholder circular said.

Large stock bonuses are rare in the Netherlands and were capped at 100% of base pay across Europe for financial industry executives in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Takeaway’s shareholder circular specified that the merger itself was not conditional on shareholders’ acceptance of Maloney’s new pay deal.

“We will discuss the outcome (of the vote) with Grubhub and Matt,” a Takeaway spokesman said. “Unfortunately we can’t comment further at this time.” A Grubhub spokeswoman also declined to comment.

The companies had said before the vote that the pay package was designed to ensure Maloney remained with the company and that it mirrored his current pay and U.S. norms.

Takeaway, which is loss-making but says sales are booming amid the coronavirus pandemic, is due to report third-quarter earnings next week.

Takaway also said on Wednesday it still expected the deal to close in the first half of 2021, pending approval from Grubhub shareholders and regulators.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Jan Harvey and Jane Merriman