Just Eat Takeaway.com NV, the food delivery company formed out of a merger earlier this year, has started arbitration proceedings against shareholder and rival Delivery Hero SE.
It said in a statement that Delivery Hero broke a relationship agreement when the company announced plans to purchase shares in Takeaway last month. Takeaway has initiated the arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce, a business group with members in more than 100 countries, which also handles corporate disputes.
In 2018, Takeaway agreed to buy Delivery Hero’s German operations for about 930 million euros ($1.03 billion) in cash and shares, giving the firm an approximately 18% stake in its Dutch rival. As part of the deal, Delivery Hero entered into a so-called standstill agreement, promising not to increase its exposure for four years, with some exceptions to prevent dilution.
Delivery Hero said in April, after Takeaway won the bidding war for Just Eat, that it would enter into a forward share purchase to restore its exposure in Just Eat Takeaway.com to about 10.6%, following the dilution that had been caused by the merger.
But during Takeaway’s negotiations for Just Eat last year, Delivery Hero caused controversy by selling about 3 million of its Takeaway shares, hurting the stock price and lowering the value of its bid.
Takeaway Chief Executive Officer Jitse Groen called Delivery Hero’s plans to increase its stake “puzzling.”
A spokesperson for Delivery Hero didn’t have an immediate comment.
The ICC Court of Arbitration handles 800 to 1,000 cases annually, making it the largest party for international commercial dispute resolution.
--With assistance from Sarah Syed and Ellen Proper.
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