Investment firm Prosus, backed by South African e-commerce giant Naspers, has said it will not purchase shares in Just Eat PLC (LON:JE.) on the market to support its £5.5bn bid for the group.

However, Prosus said its offer was still open to acceptances from shareholders.

READ: Just Eat investors salivate as Takeaway.com lands knockout blow against Prosus in bidding war

“We have always stated that we would remain disciplined with respect to price on acquiring Just Eat, balancing our desire to own an attractive business with the need for significant investment in that business while maintaining acceptable returns for Prosus shareholders”, said Prosus chief executive Bob van Dijk.

Prosus increased its bid for Just Eat on Thursday afternoon to 800p per share from 740p in an attempt to swoop in an effort to persuade shareholders to back its offer over a proposed all-share merger with Dutch firm Takeaway.com.

However, shortly after Takeaway responded with its own increased offer which valued Just Eat’s shares at 916p per share, a huge increase on the previously implied value of 704p, after a recovery in the price of its shares.

As of Thursday afternoon, Takeaway.com has secured the backing of investors representing over 41% of Just Eat’s shares, however, it needs to reach 75% to successfully execute the merger.

Just Eat’s shares were 2.3% lower at 793.6p in mid-afternoon trading.