Dan Loeb Having His Crunch Bar, Eating It, Too

The Third Point chief’s sweet tooth will not be denied.
By Captain USA (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Captain USA (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

On June 25, Dan Loeb acknowledged that he’d gone on one hell of a sugar bender, buying up $3.5 billion worth of Nestlé shares. When the markets opened a few hours later, those shares jumped by 3.5%, which is a pretty tidy profit but not really the point of what Loeb is up to here, which is: using his 1.25% stake to browbeat and bully Nestlé into doing what he wants, which is: boosting its operating profit margin, selling off a few things like a $27 billion stake in L’Oreal and buying back a whole bunch of shares. Now, we’re in the early days of this thing: Nestlé has said it will do some of the things Loeb wants, but not all of them, and none of them because he wants it to do them. For his part, Loeb has yet to unsheathe his poison pen to lay out what’s what in terms so blistering they could instantly melt the Matterhorn’s snowcap. And in the meantime, Nestlé shares have given back some of their Third Point-based gains, were still up about 1.5% since Loeb’s announcement. Not coincidentally….

Hedge fund Third Point's Ultra fund gained 0.9 percent in June, taking its year-to-date performance to 17.2 percent….

Third Point Ultra fund up 0.9 pct in June amid Nestle campaign [Reuters]