In the whirlwind of rumour surrounding pressure to increase shareholder returns from so-called activist investors, Heinz has declared a quarterly dividend of both common and preferred stock.

The company will return 30 cents per share on the company’s 25 cent par value common stock, payable on 10 April to shareholders of record at the close of business of 24 March. Heinz will also pay 45 cents per share on the company’s third cumulative preferred stock, US$1.70 first series, payable 1 April.

It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to smooth over the developing rift between management and shareholders.