Why Just Eat review of London Stock Exchange listing looks like a Brexit side-effect



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s the dust settles on Brexit, so the negative consequences are beginning to be felt.

Price rises in UK shops were always a given as red tape and tariffs add to suppliers’ costs. 

The loss of £6 billion of daily EU share trades was another entirely predictable side effect.

But today’s news that the FTSE 100 tech star JustEatTakeaway may well quit the London Stock Exchange was an unexpected by-product.

When Holland’s Takeaway.com bought Britain’s Just Eat in 2019, the idea was that it would quit the Amsterdam exchange and list entirely in London. 

The LSE and FTSE rolled out the red carpet.

Then, last year, it did a bumper takeover in the US, of the fast-growing GrubHub group, which it funded in shares.  

US rules state it has to list that stock in New York.

At the same time, the hard Brexit that just emerged means it could lose access to EU investors if it gives up its listing in Amsterdam.  

So, it’s now faced with having shares listed in London, New York and Holland. 

That’s a lot of complication, and splits its shareholder base three ways, meaning fewer potential buyers and sellers of its stock in each jurisdiction. 

The triple split would probably also see it losing its FTSE 100 status.

Given that New York can handle the US and the rest of the world, and only Amsterdam can do the EU, the case for staying in London, too, is hard to make.

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Hopefully, a Just Eat departure would be a Brexit one-off. 

But losing one of our few FTSE tech stars would be blow for our newly sovereign nation.   

Which begs the question: if US regulators can insist on American shareholders having their stock listed there, why can’t ours?