Activist targets Just Eat finance chief over ‘betrayal of trust’

Just Eat has come under pressure from activist investor Cat Rock Capital (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)

Just Eat has come under pressure from activist investor Cat Rock Capital (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)

The heat under Just Eat Takeaway increased today after a major shareholder called for an AGM revolt over the re-election of finance boss Brent Wissink.

Cat Rock, which owns 6.9% of the food delivery company, also wants fellow shareholders to vote against the supervisory board at next week’s annual meeting.

The pressure from the activist investor follows a 75% slide for Just Eat shares in the two years since its acquisition of US-based Grubhub. As well as reporting a 1% drop in orders in the first quarter, the company said last week it was considering the partial or full sale of Grubhub.

Cat Rock founder and managing partner Alex Captain said management had made a mistake buying Grubhub but that this alone could not fully explain the loss of value.

“This €6 billion deal cannot explain the -€16 billion of equity value that has been destroyed in less than two years,” Captain said.

“Instead, we believe the bulk of the value destruction occurred because JET management gave investors a misleading financial outlook in advance of the two Grubhub shareholder votes, leading to two massive profit downgrades in 2021 and shattering investor trust in management.”

In a letter to shareholders, he said there had been a “failure in leadership” at the company that resulted in a “betrayal of trust.”

He said: “Just Eat Takeaway is a high-quality business with fantastic growth prospects and valuable assets. The company needs a new supervisory board and CFO to unlock its great potential.”

Wissink joined the business in 2011 and became its chief financial officer in 2014.

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