Peltz tripled his stake in PepsiCo and doubled his shareholder in Mondelez

Peltz tripled his stake in PepsiCo and doubled his shareholder in Mondelez

Trian Fund Management, the investment vehicle of activist shareholder Nelson Peltz, has upped its stakes in snack food giants PepsiCo and Mondelez International.

In a regulatory filing with the SEC yesterday (15 May), Trian said that, as of the end of March, it held a US$1.23bn stake in Mondelez and a $951.8m stake in PepsiCo.

Peltz has now tripled his stake in PepsiCo to 12m shares and is now the sixth largest shareholder in Mondelez after doubling the fund's holding to 40.3m shares.

The news is once again likely to fuel fresh speculation that Peltz could be pushing for a merger between the two groups.

As just-food argued last month, when speculation first emerged that Peltz could be buying up shares in the US food firms, a merger between the two groups could bring a number of strategic advantages.

Both Mondelez and PepsiCo would boost their presence in emerging markets, as each firm would benefit from the other's distribution channels. At the same time, PepsiCo's strength in the US would calm investor jitters over Mondelez's exposure to higher growth - but higher risk - emerging markets.

The combined group would also benefit from a stronger snack portfolio: combining PepsiCo's might in salty snacks with Mondelez's hefty position in confectionery and sweet biscuits.

PepsiCo, which has previously played down the need for "large scale" M&A, confirmed the group has engaged in talks with Peltz.