Pepsi: Still Not Liking the Taste of the Peltz Plan
The Peltz Plan isn’t a new one, but it also doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Nelson Peltz, the founder of Trian Fund Management, which owns a billion-dollar stake in PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), has long been urging the company to split its snacks and beverage unit in order to buy rival Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ).
The activist investor began his rumblings for a Pepsi breakup back in July, and although his voice carries more weight in the investment community than most shareholders, CEO Indra Nooyi has managed to hold her own against the 71-year-old investor, and now some are even questioning his motives.
The New York Post reported Sunday that a group of Pepsi’s largest shareholders now believe that Peltz is only forcing the move on Nooyi because it is the easiest way for him to make money off of his investment. Since Peltz also owns 2.3 percent of Mondelez, Pepsi’s rival snack business, many suspect that the investor could come out big from a high-profile Mondelez acquisition, and they are thus ready to stop Peltz’s efforts in its tracks.
Nooyi also isn’t yet on board, and may never be. After Peltz announced his Pepsi split and polish plan on July 17, the company’s shares dropped and the CEO was forced to maintain in Pepsi’s earnings report a week later that the company’s current structure is working just fine and it isn’t anticipating any big changes. The New York Post reports that during the earnings call, Nooyi admitted that Pepsi could accept some smaller, “tuck-in” acquisitions of $500 million or less, but asserted that she was not expecting any larger deals.
Months later, shares are still down but Nooyi is maintaining her position. That hasn’t kept Peltz from adamantly knocking on her door. However, so far, the CEO is keeping her agenda closed, understanding that since Peltz’s announcement, Pepsi’s shares have been down 5.2 percent while the S&P 500 is up nearly 1 percent.
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