Just Eat and Takeaway.com have released a statement saying they have “reached an agreement in principle on the key terms” of a merger between the two businesses.

The statement said the deal represented a “highly compelling” opportunity to create a combined business that would become “one of the world’s largest online food delivery platforms with 360 million orders worth €7.3bn in 2018”.

It would also have a “strong founder led management team with 40 years of combined experience in the sector; strong leadership positions in many of the world’s largest food delivery markets, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada; a platform built around two of the world’s largest profit pools in food delivery, the UK and the Netherlands; ability to deploy capital and resources to strengthen its competitive positions as the company determines appropriate; and operating leverage potential: greater ability to leverage investments, in particular in technology, marketing and restaurant delivery services across the combined business.”

The proposed terms of the deal would give Just Eat shares a value of 731p, a premium of 15%. 

Should the deal complete, Just Eat chairman Mike Evans would become chairman of the combined business, with Adriaan Nühn, currently chairman of the Takeaway.com becoming vice-chairman. 

Discussions remain ongoing but are at an “advanced stage”. Any deal would create a business worth around £9bn based on current market value. In 2018 Just East sales were up 43% to £779.5m, while pre-tax profits were £101.7m. It made a £76m loss in 2017.

Just Eat’s half yearly financial results are due on Wednesday, 31 July.