Just Eat Takeaway’s activist has a full plate

A Just Eat delivery rider is seen in Nice, France, February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Trying to tame Just Eat Takeaway.com (TKWY.AS) Chief Executive Jitse Groen is like telling an omelette to be less eggy. That hasn’t deterred pushy 4.7% shareholder Cat Rock Capital, which wants the delivery group’s founder to explain his strategy more clearly to improve a lagging valuation.

Cat Rock is onto something: Just Eat Takeaway’s roughly 15 billion euro enterprise value is 3.8 times the revenue analysts expect it to generate in the next 12 months, compared with peer Delivery Hero’s (DHER.DE) 4.5 times and DoorDash’s (DASH.N) 11.6 times, using Refinitiv data. Groen has been investing in his own network of delivery drivers despite criticising the business model.

The perennially outspoken founder is unlikely to quieten down. Besides, investors have bigger worries, like a questionable recent acquisition read more of America’s Grubhub and rising competition in Germany. Cat Rock also wants Groen to consider selling assets or even merging into a bigger player like DoorDash. They’re not necessarily bad ideas. But given Just Eat Takeaway’s more fundamental problems, the activist’s eyes may be a bit too big for its belly. (By Liam Proud)

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Editing by Neil Unmack and Oliver Taslic

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