Blog: Dean BestThe overhaul at Cadbury

Dean Best | 19 June 2007

Investor activism got a shot in the arm in London today (19 June) when Cadbury Schweppes unveiled plans to overhaul its confectionery business.

Cadbury, led by CEO Todd Stitzer, was at pains to insist that the company’s moves – which involve the loss of around 7,800 jobs, the closure of a number of manufacturing sites and a greater focus on its core brands – were not a reaction to pressure from unhappy shareholders.

Stitzer insisted the plans were two years’ in the making. He maintained the company hadn’t kowtowed to investors who believed Cadbury’s confectionery business was under-performing and who wanted to split it from the UK group’s drinks business across the Atlantic.

Nevertheless, no matter how much Cadbury insists these plans had been drawn up over many months, the fact remains that it first announced its intentions almost immediately after activist investor Nelson Peltz began amassing a stake in the company.

Whether or not Peltz had any direct influence in Cadbury’s decisions, it seems his stake-building was the catalyst for the company to get down to work.

And tomorrow another household name in the UK, retail giant Sainsbury’s, could face questions over recent moves by a Qatari investment group to take a 25% stake in the company.

Speculation has grown that Sainsbury’s could face renewed pressure to sell off parts of its valuable property portfolio. The Qatari group has links to property tycoon and Sainsbury’s investor Robert Tchenguiz, who is known to advocate selling off the property to boost shareholder returns.

Sainsbury’s would no doubt have noted the Cadbury announcement today with great interest.


BLOG

General Mills trials new way of buying Haagen-Dazs

On Friday (7 September), ice-cream lovers in part of central London were able to order Häagen-Dazs on their phones - and have it delivered directly to them, wherever they were....

BLOG

just-food closed on Monday 27 August

As I type, grey skies cover south-east London, with drizzle hitting the windows - but the forecast is set fairer for tomorrow when the country has its final public holiday before Christmas Day....

BLOG

If Kraft Heinz passed on Pinnacle, it should do so with Campbell

It's almost 18 months since Unilever rebuffed Kraft Heinz and, ever since, the rumour mill has spun over where the US manufacturer could look next. It's been reported today (2 August) the ketchup make...



Forgot your password?