Just Eat shareholder Cat Rock calls for merger talks

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(Reuters) - Just Eat Plc shareholder Cat Rock Capital Management LP on Monday urged the British takeaway ordering website to start merger discussions, saying it would benefit from a deal rather than relying on a new chief executive officer.

Cat Rock's statement comes less than a month after Just Eat Chief Executive Officer Peter Plumb left the company, as a new strategy launched by him resulted in a slowdown in earnings.

Cat Rock, which owns 1.7 percent of Just Eat's shares, said the company should merge with a "well-run industry peer", blaming a poor record of CEO selection in the past.

The U.S.-based hedge fund also said that if Just Eat continues to ignore shareholder feedback, they intend to take further action in advance of the annual meeting scheduled for May 1.

Just Eat was not immediately available to comment on Cat Rock's latest statement.

Cat Rock Capital Management complained in December that Just Eat had become the world's worst performing online food delivery stock and called the company to sell businesses and align executive pay to financial targets.

Just Eat's stock shed one-fourth of its value in 2018, compared with the FTSE100 index's 12 percent loss.

"The Board's experiment of appointing an industry outsider like Mr. Plumb to the CEO role failed miserably," Cat Rock said on Monday.

Sidley Austin LLP is legal adviser to Cat Rock Capital.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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