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Just Eat Takeaway Faces Shareholder Revolt At AGM, Chairman's Position Shaky

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Just Eat Takeaway Faces Shareholder Revolt At AGM, Chairman's Position Shaky

Just Eat, Europe's largest online meal delivery company, is in for a showdown with its own shareholders at its annual meeting, with dissent over its sagging share price and strategy, and facing calls for some members of the company's boards to be replaced.

The company, once a stock market darling, faces operational headwinds as the boom in online food ordering is fading along with the COVID-19 pandemic in many of its key markets.

Grubhub Purchase

In addition, CEO Jitse Groen has been criticised for his ill-timed purchase of Grubhub, the U.S. business Just Eat Takeaway bought for $7.3 billion in June 2021, among other issues.

At a first quarter trading update last month, Groen conceded he would have to sell or set up a partnership with the company, which faces competition from the likes of Doordash and Uber Eats. In addition Grubhub's profitability and valuation have been damaged by fee caps on the commissions it is allowed to charge restaurants in key markets such as New York City.

Takeaway's shares closed at €26.45 on Tuesday, down 45% in the year to date.


Shareholder Call

Cat Rock, the company's second-largest shareholder after founder Groen with 6.88% of Takeaway shares, published an open letter on April 25, urging shareholders to vote against the reappointment of CFO Brent Wisssink and the company's supervisory board.

That call has received some support from other investors including hedge fund Lucerne Capital Management.

While shareholder advisory body Glass Lewis does not oppose Wissink's reappointment, it has advised against the re-appointment of chairman Adriaan Nühn, making his position uncertain.

Shareholder rights organisation VEB said it was also critical and would be voting against "the reappointment of the Dutch supervisory board members" including Nühn, it said. Organisation spokesman Eric van den Hudding said Takeaway needs independent members capable of challenging management board decisions.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest technology news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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