Shock as Just Eat mulls plan to leave London Stock Exchange amid talk of Brexit concerns



L

ondon today faced the potential loss of one of the FTSE 100’s few technology stars with Brexit being a factor as the £15 billion Just Eat Takeaway.com said it was reviewing its listing here.

The home delivery food giant, which trades as Just Eat in the UK, is in a dilemma because it has shares listed in Amsterdam and London.

Following a major takeover last year of a rival called GrubHub in the US, it now has to list shares in New York as well, because that transaction was funded entirely with stock. The deal is expected to complete in the mid-2021.

This would mean having three listings — a cumbersome structure.

In 2019, when Takeaway.com struck its deal to buy Britain’s Just Eat, the plan was to list its shares only in London.

Bankers said the hard Brexit that has just happened may now be changing that idea as London no longer has the same access to EU capital.

One banker said: “London could have still been the exchange for its UK and rest-of-the-world trading, with Amsterdam being the venue for EU investors. But the New York listing changes that. New York might be able to take over all the non-EU stuff instead of London.”

JustEatTakeaway’s notice period to quit Amsterdam ends next month but the company has  now put that on pause pending a review.  

“They have to take a view now on where they get the best liquidity and which exchange offers them the best coverage,” said one exchanges source.

It is generally not thought to be good for a company to have their liquidity split between multiple jurisdictions.

JustEatTakeaway may still take the view that London offers a deep and strong investor base in addition to  New York’s. The Hut Group, another UK tech giant, yesterday said it had received strong support from London investors since its IPO last year.

Meanwhile UK shareholders may complain about losing the London listing.

JustEatTakeaway did not respond to requests for comment but sources stressed Brexit was not the sole factor and emphasised that it may keep all three listings.

Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have claimed Brexit will create boom times for the British tech scene.

The loss of JustEat from the London exchange would be a blow to that, although London is expecting to host several smaller tech floats. 

Related

Only yesterday, Moonpig, the online cards and gifts group, unveiled its plans. Just Eat’s arch- rival Deliveroo is mulling an IPO in the coming months and it is hoped it will opt for London over New York whatever JustEatTakeaway decides.

JustEat shares fell 4.5%, or 406p, to 8664p.  

It made its bombshell announcement alongside a storming fourth quarter trading update. Continued lockdowns around the world saw diners grabbing takeaways in ever-greater numbers in the last three months of 2020. Just Eat saw orders soar by 57% year-on-year, creating a total value of orders placed through its apps up to €4 billion.