(Alliance News) - Online food delivery firm Takeaway.com NV said Thursday that the UK Competition & Markets Authority has "reconsidered its position" regarding the company's all-share combination with UK peer Just Eat PLC and now believes that a merger investigation is warranted.
The Amsterdam-based company said it understands that the regulator intends unexpectedly to conduct a targeted investigation focused on assessing whether Takeaway.com would, absent the Just Eat transaction, have re-entered the UK market.
Takeaway.com said together with its advisers it will work with the UK monopoly regulator to respond to any questions it may have and is confident that merger clearance will be obtained.
The CMA may open an investigation at any point until the expiry of the four-month statutory period. A merger investigation, if initiated by the CMA, is non-suspensory and therefore will not affect the ability of Takeaway.com to declare its increased Just Eat offer wholly unconditional and to proceed with settlement, the company said.
Earlier in January, Takeaway.com said its all-share tie-up with FTSE 100-listed Just Eat became unconditional, having won a bidding war with Johannesburg- and Amsterdam-listed internet investor Prosus NV.
Takeaway.com had said the increased offer of 916 pence per Just Eat share was unconditional, after receiving the backing of just over 80% of Just Eat shareholders.
However, as the CMA's investigation may be ongoing at the time of completion, the regulator may decide to impose a hold separate order requiring that the businesses continue to be run independently until the investigation has concluded, the company explained on Thursday.
As a result, Takeaway.com is reconsidering the timetable for Just Eat merger.
Just Eat shares closed 0.7% lower in London at 880.60 pence each on Thursday.
By Loreta Juodagalvyte; firstname.lastname@example.org
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