Activist shareholder Nelson Peltz suggests PepsiCo should merge with Mondelez

Activist shareholder Nelson Peltz suggests PepsiCo should merge with Mondelez

Last week we published our interview with Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke from China where he spoke about how Nestle is driving global sales growth and its focus on delivering science-based nutrition solutions. Also last week, activist shareholder Nelson Peltz was making his voice heard again, suggesting PepsiCo should merge with Mondelez International and spin off its beverages business. Elsewhere, we spoke with the MD of organic baby food firm Organix, and Rick Gilmore, the chairman of the Global Food Safety Forum, who explained what China is doing to restore consumer confidence amid the investigation into price fixing.

"While it has a leading portfolio of 22 billion-dollar brands, PepsiCo has underperformed its peers as it grapples with the differing needs of its fast-growth (snacks) and slow-growth (beverages) businesses and the resulting inherent conflict in allocating its resources" - Activist shareholder Nelson Peltz calls on PepsiCo to be merged with Mondelez International.

"We don't go after growth, for growth, for growth. We go after quality growth. That means where we can add value, where we can add to our strategic direction, where we can have sustainable profitable growth" - Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke says the firm is focusing on growth that can be built upon year after year.

"Overall baby food esp in developed markets is not going to grow in value terms but there are little pockets, like organic baby food, that are going to grow very fast" - Euromonitor analyst Idliko Szalai explains the growth projections for organic baby food.

"We are growing even faster than last year and we are gaining market share big time" - Nestle regional chief Roland Decorvet says revenue gains are gathering pace in China.

"The anti-trust case by the Chinese government aims to bring down the soaring price of infant milk powder and close loopholes like the black market in Hong Kong and manipulation of formula import quotas from New Zealand" - Rick Gilmore, chairman of the Global Food Safety Forum, explains what China is doing to restore consumer confidence amid an investigation into price fixing.

"[China] are are coming up to exactly the same levels as we are, so if we can exploit that then that would be a real opportunity for us" - Organix MD Anna Rosier explains the opportunities for the company internationally.

"We are not aware of and we will not speculate about any plan for the combined company to access the equity capital markets" - a spokesperson for Chinese pork group Shuanghui downplays rumours it is preparing an IPO following completion of its proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods.

"We could say: 'as it has a bad image... we will get out of that. We are going to try to paint a little [halo] because we are saints.' That is false because people are going to continue to eat ice cream" - Bulcke says Nestle is focused on producing healthier alternatives in categories such as ice cream.

"Cargill could be a potential buyer but then I think there are probably going to be monopoly concerns" - Kepler Capital Markets analyst Jon Cox offers his view on Cargill as a potential acquirer of ADM's cocoa business.

"It certainly makes sense to get more business from the upmarket end of the US population" - James Richardson, SVP at Hartman Strategy, emphasises that Campbell's deal to buy Plum Organics strengthens its portfolio by increasing its exposure to a more affluent US consumer base.