Just Eat has rejected a £4.9bn takeover offer from South African company Prosus, part of conglomerate Naspers, deciding instead to press ahead with its merger with Dutch rival Takeaway.com (The Guardian). Naspers, the South African tech conglomerate, has tried to gatecrash a merger of two of Europe’s biggest food delivery groups (The Financial Times £). The board of Just Eat is under pressure after it rejected a hostile £4.9 billion bid from a South African technology investor that threatens to scupper a proposed merger with Takeaway.com (The Times £). Prosus approached directly investors, in what is called an hostile takeover, sparking hopes for a bidding war (The Telegraph). But Just Eat urged shareholders not to accept the 710p per share deal (Sky News). Analysts said a bidding war for Just Eat between the two Dutch-based suitors now loomed (Reuters)

Just Eat has found itself at the centre of a feeding frenzy, writes The FT. With activist investors in the mix, including one already alleging stock-price meddling, the stage is set for the most competitive takeover situation that the UK has seen since last year’s shootout for Sky. (The Financial Times £)

Uber Eats struck a deal with convenience store chain Costcutter, allowing over 1,700 shops to sell everyday items via the app, as the delivery business follows its peers and enters the grocery market (The Telegraph).

Reckitt Benkiser cut its financial outlook after reporting a “disappointing” third quarter performance, with sales  up 1.6% to £3.3bn versus expectations of a 3.2% rise. The company expects sales to be flat or grow by no more than 2% this year compared with previous forecasts of 2% to 3% growth (The Telegraph). This is the second time this year that the Durex maker cut its guidance, as it needs to focus on operating performance (Sky News). 

Ministers have called to postpone talks over a post-Brexit trade deal with the US until the drop of new 25% tariffs on Scotch whisky, suits and biscuits. Industry leaders have urged Liz Truss to demand the tariffs’ abolition “as a prerequisite” before negotiations over a free trade agreement can begin (The Times £).

McDonald’s has reported a disappointing slowdown in sales growth in the US, up 4.8% versus analysts’ expected 5.2%, as it missed its third quarter earnings estimates amid fierce competition. Meanwhile, global comparable sales rose 5.9%, marking the 17th consecutive quarter of growth for the fast-food chain (The Financial Times). Shares slumped 5.1% to close at $199.23 in New York last night. (The Times £).

Procter & Gamble has boosted its annual outlook as demand for its premium beauty and skincare products boosted third quarter sales by 7% on an organic basis. The firm now expects full-year sales to rise between 5% and 10% (The Times).

Deliveroo’s highest-paid director, understood by The Guardian to be the co-founder Will Shu, received a 57% increase in basic pay and £8.3m in share options last year, despite widening losses at the food delivery firm (The Guardian).

French retailer Casino rose €1.5bn in bank loans in order to refinance part of its existing debt, which stood at €2.7bn at the end of 2018 (The Financial Times £).