Boss of Just Eat Takeaway rejects calls from top investor that the firm should merge with a rival
- Jitse Groen admitted his company had ‘work to do on communication’
- But insisted it had no need to pursue a tie-up or sell assets
- His comments come after top investor Cat Rock Capital accused Groen of presiding over a PR ‘disaster’ that had left the firm’s share price flagging
The boss of Just Eat Takeaway has rejected calls that it should merge with a rival
The boss of Just Eat Takeaway has rejected calls that it should merge with a rival. Jitse Groen admitted his takeaway delivery company had ‘work to do on communication’ but insisted it had no need to pursue a tie-up or sell assets.
His comments come after top investor Cat Rock Capital accused Groen of presiding over a public relations ‘disaster’ that had left the company’s share price flagging. The investor slammed him for bickering with rivals on Twitter and demanded actions to boost the stock, including possible mergers or asset sales. But Groen dismissed the latter suggestions, saying Just Eat was ‘very profitable’ compared to loss-making rivals.
‘That is a solution we don’t agree with,’ he said. ‘We don’t think it makes sense for a leading food delivery business to sell leading businesses.’ And he said Just Eat – Europe’s largest food delivery group – would spurn any merger talks with ‘a company that is loss-making, that we don’t really understand how [it] is ever going to be profitable’.
‘We have always been open to consolidation with companies that are similar,’ he added. ‘If it’s good for the business, we’ll look at it. If it’s bad for the business, we won’t.’
Just Eat revealed the number of UK orders placed on its platform surged by 58m to 135m in the first half of 2021. That helped revenues leap from £576m to £1.5bn over the period.
However the firm, which completed a £5bn takeover of US-based Grubhub earlier this year, saw its losses widen from £50m to £414m. This was after a rapid expansion of its services saw it spend more on hiring couriers and wages. Shares in the firm rose 2.9pc, or 176p, to 6310p.