One of the most brutal takeover battles of the last 12 months ended on Friday as Takeaway.com finally won the right to buy rival Just Eat in a £6bn (€7bn) deal.
The move has been sealed after more than 80% of Just Eat’s shareholders have accepted the bid from its Dutch peer.
Remaining shareholders now have until January 31 before Takeaway can force a compulsory purchase. The deal is expected to finalise in the first quarter of this year.
The takeover, which will create one of the world’s largest takeaway delivery companies, valued Just Eat at 889p per share taking its market value to around £5.9bn (€6.93bn).
Takeaway initially agreed the combination with the UK delivery company at the beginning of July. It proposed to pay for the purchase with shares in Takeaway.
But Prosus, an Amsterdam-listed arm of South Africa’s Naspers, tried to muscle in, putting cash on the table in October to try to lure Just Eat shareholders to plump for its rival bid.
The two went toe-to-toe, slinging mud at each others’ offers and trying to win Just Eat’s approval.
But with the backing of the Just Eat board, Takeaway always looked to have the upper hand.
“I am thrilled that our offer for Just Eat has now formally reached an acceptance level of 80.4%. I wish to thank everybody involved, but especially the Just Eat staff for their patience, in what must have been an uncertain time,” Takeaway chief executive Jitse Groen said on Friday.
He added: “Just Eat-Takeaway.com is a dream combination and I am very much looking forward to leading the company for many years to come.”
The merger of the business, which will be called Just Eat Takeaway.com when the deal closes, comes amid a period of tense competition in the delivery market amid rapid growth from rivals including Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
Amsterdam-based Takeaway’s own shareholders voted in approval of the plan on Thursday.