NASPERS and Prosus chief executive Bob van Dijk rings a gong to mark Prosus’s debut on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange yesterday. Prosus shares rose as much as 32 percent. Reuters

DURBAN – Prosus has defended its bid for the UK-listed Just Eat and said it would welcome an opportunity to engage with the shareholders to discuss the merits of its offer. 

Prosus, the internet assets division of Naspers, offered a 710 pence (R132.82) a share for Just Eat last week amounting to £4.9 billion for the stake.

“The Just Eat share price on the day before we announced our offer, even with the benefit of the premium embedded within’s offer, was 589p. 

"In our view, this price reflected the market’s disappointment in the continued weak performance of the business, as most recently evidenced in their third quarter update.  

"This reflects the strong competitive pressures the business is facing and highlights the significant investment required to compete successfully,” Prosus said yesterday on the JSE’s Stock Exchange News Service.  

Prosus’s offer is facing a challenge from and in July Just Eat executives agreed to a £9bn merger with has already informed its shareholders that an extraordinary general meeting will be held on December 4 to vote on the Just Eat Takeaway transaction.

However, Prosus still believes its offer is right for the Just Eat shareholders and have the intention to grow the company.

“We intend to invest in the business in order to ensure it remains competitive. 

"The Prosus offer of 710p is a 20 percent premium to the 589p Just Eat share price on the day before we announced our offer and aims to deliver value by eliminating operational execution risk and providing certainty for Just Eat’s shareholders today at an attractive premium,” Prosus said.

Questions have been when it emerged that a shareholder, Delivery Hero, started to sell shares quite aggressively and that Prosus holds an interest in Delivery Hero. 

However, Prosus said yesterday that it did not control  Delivery Hero or its investment decisions. 

“Prosus had not disclosed its interest in making an offer for Just Eat to Delivery Hero prior to the issue of its Rule 2.7 announcement,” Prosus said. 

Prosus said Delivery Hero confirmed separately in its statements and the decision to sell down shares was taken by Delivery Hero’s management board independently in September.      

Prosus shares closed 0.33 percent higher at R1 020 on the JSE yesterday.