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Just Eat shareholder calls for asset sales, new targets

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(Reuters) – Just Eat <JE.L> shareholder Cat Rock Capital Management LP on Monday called on management of the online food order and delivery company to sell businesses and align executive pay to financial targets.

The U.S hedge fund, which owns about 2 percent of Just Eat, asked Just Eat to present a three-year financial plan before its shareholder meeting in May and consider selling its stake in online food delivery platform iFood.

Just Eat has grown rapidly since it floated in 2014 but its shares have slid more than 25 percent this year amid repeated warnings that its expenses would increase, as it fights rivals Deliveroo and Uber Eats in markets ranging from Canada to Australia and the UK.

Selling its iFood stake could fetch as much as 650 million pounds, Cat Rock said.

“We are concerned that the slow pace of planning and decision-making at Just Eat will not only continue to destroy shareholder value but will also result in competitors eroding Just Eat’s leading market position,” Cat Rock said.

Just Eat said it has a “clear strategy in place to deliver long-term sustainable value” for its shareholders.

The company last month forecast revenue towards the top end of its range, but warned that full-year core earnings would come in towards the lower end of forecasts due to higher-than-expected investment in Brazil and Mexico.

Analysts said then they backed the group’s strategy to keep investing as the market develops rapidly around the world, while investors send its shares up nearly 8 percent on the day.

The FTSE 100 company, founded in Denmark in 2001 by five entrepreneurs, now operates in 12 markets with over 2,900 employees.

The company’s shares rose as much as 1.2 percent in morning trading before slipping to stand up 0.3 percent at 578.8 pence at 0837 GMT.

Sidley Austin LLP is legal adviser to Cat Rock Capital.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Jason Neely)

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