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PepsiCo shares soar following $150m Peltz investment – and rumors of a potential split

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 16-Nov-2011

PepsiCo shares soar following $150m Peltz investment – and rumors of a potential split

Shares in PepsiCo have been climbing after influential investor Nelson Peltz revealed on Tuesday that his hedge fund Trian Management had bought 2.36m shares in the company, worth $150m or about 0.15% of its total value.

Shares rose about 3% on Tuesday and were continuing to rise on Wednesday, opening at $64.17, reaching $65.83 by noon ET. The company’s shares have moved between a 52-week high of $71.89 and a 52-week low of $58.50.

 

Historically, Peltz has been known for attempting to influence decision-making at major food and beverage companies following large stock purchases. He bought a large number of shares in Kraft Foods just before it announced its intention to split in August this year, although whether he played a role in the decision has not been disclosed. He also bought a large quantity of shares in Heinz before pushing for changes at the firm.

 

PepsiCo has come under pressure to shake up its strategy in recent months, especially after Pepsi fell from its second place position behind Coca-Cola to become the third most popular global soft drink, ceding its number two spot to Diet Coke – and some commentators have expressed dissatisfaction that the company has not lined up an obvious successor to CEO Indra Nooyi.

 

Rumors: Board split over a split?

 

The New York Post, citing unnamed sources, reported rumors that the company’s board is divided over whether PepsiCo should split its soft drink and snacks businesses. It also reported that major upcoming acquisitions were the reason the company last week had delayed an investor update until 2012, citing another unnamed source.

 

No one from the company responded to a request for comment prior to publication.

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