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Investor Cat Rock says Just Eat shareholders back merger proposal

Investor Cat Rock says Just Eat shareholders back merger proposal
By Reuters
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(Reuters) - Just Eat Plc shareholder Cat Rock Capital Management LP's push to start merger talks by the London-listed takeaway ordering website has found "strong support" from stakeholders, the U.S. based activist investor said on Wednesday.

Cat Rock Capital, which has stakes in both Just Eat and Dutch-listed, said Just Eat could generate "significant value" by negotiating a merger.

"We have been particularly encouraged to hear that several other Just Eat shareholders have written to the Board...that it should be actively engaging in merger discussions with well-run industry peers," Cat Rock said.

A week ago, the activist investor had urged Just Eat to pursue merger talks with a peer such as, saying it did not trust the board to get the appointment of a new CEO right.

Just Eat CEO Peter Plumb left the company last month following criticism from Cat Rock and some other shareholders about his plan to grow earnings.

Cat Rock, founded by Alex Captain, has complained that the company had become the world's worst performing online food delivery stock.

In December, it suggested that Just Eat should consider selling businesses such as its stake in Brazilian market leader iFood.

Shares of the company were up 1.5 percent in early trading. The stock lost a quarter of its value in 2018, after enjoying rapid expansion since its 2014 float at a price of 260 pence per share. The slump forced it out of London's blue-chip index in December.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Arun Koyyur)

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