January 22, 2014 in Business

Nelson Peltz joins Mondelez board, backs off PepsiCo deal

Candice Choi Associated Press

NEW YORK – Activist investor Nelson Peltz is no longer pushing for PepsiCo to buy Mondelez and create a global snack foods giant, after Mondelez on Tuesday named him to its board of directors.

Mondelez, which makes Oreo and Chips Ahoy cookies, says the appointment expands its board to 12 members and that Peltz will be among its nominees for election at its shareholders meeting.

Peltz, a founding partner of Trian Fund Management, had criticized the company’s performance since it split from Kraft Foods in October of 2012. In a white paper issued this summer, Trian had also laid out various scenarios it wanted PepsiCo Inc. to pursue. “Alternative A” proposed that PepsiCo spin off its beverage unit and merge its Frito-Lay snacks business with Mondelez. “Alternative B” focused on PepsiCo splitting up its beverage and snacks business.

“Given that Pepsi’s not interested in Plan A, we are encouraging them to pursue Plan B,” said Anne Tarbell, a spokeswoman for Trian.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has rebuffed the suggestion in the past, repeatedly stressing the value of a combined snack and beverage company. In the meantime, the company has nevertheless been reviewing a restructuring of its struggling North American beverage business, with plans to issue an update in February.

A spokesman for PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., declined to comment.

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