Pepsi future still unclear say analysts

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kraft foods

Peltz' withdrawal from the firm means speculation is likely to continue
Peltz' withdrawal from the firm means speculation is likely to continue
A key shareholder’s withdrawal from PepsiCo is continuing to fuel speculation surrounding the future of the snacks and soft drinks giant, according to city analysts.

PepsiCo’s shares fell by 2% last Thursday (November 17) after it was announced that activist and investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund no longer owns shares in the firm.

Experts have said that speculation about a shake-up at the firm is “likely to continue​” as a result of the withdrawal.

Offloaded

Julian Wild, food group director at law firm Rollits, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Nelson Peltz has a record of bringing about change at blue chip firms and he has just offloaded from Pepsi, taken his profit and gone. The debate is therefore likely to continue after his departure.

"At the moment though it is pure speculation but these things have a tendency to build up steam so we must wait and see.​”

Last month, PepsiCo executives resisted calls for the firm to follow rival Krafts’ foot-steps and split the business into separate snacks and drinks divisions.

Further speculation was fuelled early last week after a regulatory filing revealed that Peltz’ firm now held 2.36M shares in the firm as of September 30.

The shares rose 3% as a result with many investors hoping that Peltz’ announcement would lead to the split that they had been calling for.

However, just two days later it was announced that Peltz’ no longer owned the shares leading to a dip in the share price.

Attractions

Peltz, who holds 17.3m Kraft shares, renewed his interest in that firm last June when he took a $420m stake nearly a year after selling off his shares.

Kraft subsequently announced plans to split into a global snacks division and a US grocery business less than two months later.

Wild said: “Clearly there is quite a lot of activity by way of potential splits among multinational businesses, Kraft being an example of this.

"This has provoked a lot of discussions surrounding Pepsi which would have some attractions as they are involved in a number of activities​.”

Related topics: Chilled foods, Drinks

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