Trian Fund Management, the investment vehicle controlled by activist investor Nelson Peltz, is reportedly still pushing for PepsiCo to be split.
According to a report in the New York Post, Trian has reached out to PepsiCo’s largest shareholders to gauge support for Peltz to take a board seat. The move could potentially pave the way for Peltz to renew his calls for PepsiCo to be divided into seperate drinks and snacks businesses.
Peltz first backed a plan that would split PepsiCo’s drinks and snacks businesses – and then potentially merge the latter with Mondelez International – earlier this summer.
In a so-called ‘White Paper’, Peltz argued that PepsiCo is at “a strategic crossroads” and that changing consumer tastes and the increased importance of emerging markets have changed the outlook for its key businesses. Trian believes PepsiCo’s structure is “increasingly unmanageable”, the White Paper argued.
Trian insisted that by dividing the group and merging its snacking arm with Mondelez the company would unlock approximately $175 of implied value per PepsiCo share and approximately $72 of implied value per Mondelez share, by the end of 2015. If PepsiCo declines to buy Mondelez, an alternative, or “Plan B” should be to separate beverages from the snacks business, the investor argued.
However, management rebuffed Trian’s arguments and insisted that the company is well-placed to deliver long-term shareholder value. Moreover, management added that a merger with Mondelez was too high-risk.
Prior to the publication of the White Paper, Peltz had tripled his stake in PepsiCo to 12m shares and is now the sixth largest shareholder in Mondelez.
Trian and PepsiCo were not immediately available for comment at time of press.