July 27, 2019 / 1:32 PM / 2 months ago

Takeaway.com in talks to buy UK's Just Eat in food delivery tie-up

LONDON (Reuters) - European online food delivery firm Takeaway.com NV (TKWY.AS) said it was in talks about an all-share offer for Britain’s Just Eat (JE.L), announcing the possible bid after a media report about a 9 billion pound ($11 billion) merger plan.

Takeaway.com said on Saturday that it “confirms that it is in discussions with Just Eat regarding a possible all-share combination of Takeaway.com with Just Eat.”

The British firm confirmed it was in talks about an offer by Takeaway.com, after Sky News reported the possible deal earlier on Saturday.

Takeaway.com and Just Eat said it was not certain the offer would take place and Takeaway.com had until 5pm (1600 GMT) on Aug. 24 to announce a firm intention to press on with the deal.

Just Eat has faced unrest from investors, led by activist shareholder Cat Rock which has pressed for a merger with Takeaway.com in which it also has a stake.

Takeaway.com this year completed a 930 million euro ($1.03 billion) acquisition of the German activities of Delivery Hero, settling the costly battle for supremacy in the German food delivery market.

Takeaway.com claims to be the leading food deliverer in continental Europe, Israel and Vietnam. It has argued that the online food ordering business will be highly profitable for just one player in each country.

The business requires large investments in delivery services, which Takeaway.com views as a marketing tool, while profits flow from deals with restaurants seeking to use its platforms to reach customers.

Sky News said Mike Evans, Just Eat’s chairman, was likely to continue in the role, while the leading contender to be chief executive of the merged firm was expected to be Jitse Groen, who founded Takeaway.com in 2000.

($1 = 0.8989 euros)

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru and Bart Meijer in Amsterdam; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Edmund Blair

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