Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July, which we like to celebrate by blowing things up. This fondness for creative destruction was perhaps lost on the dour Swiss people running Nestlé. Luckily, Dan Loeb just ate a whole mess of Crunch bars and is ready to explain it to them—and their special part therein.
On Sunday, Loeb fired off a letter and 34-page presentation to Nestle’s chief executive officer and board chairman urging them to sell more of the businesses that do not fit and untangle its corporate structure.
Loeb criticized the company’s “muddled strategic approach” and called for the company to split internally into three units: beverages, nutrition and grocery.
Now, the sight of the world’s largest food company exploding in colorful fire over Lake Geneva would really be something, but Loeb knows that a good Fourth of July fireworks display shouldn’t be one-note, even if that one note is really something. So how about a Campbell’s Roman Candle, firing out aging heirs and heiresses before a nice little thunderclap of a sale.
Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund is in talks with family members who control about 41 percent of Campbell’s shares and with independent Campbell investors about supporting a plan that would result in hiring a bank to explore a possible sale of the 149-year-old company, two sources close to the situation said…. Loeb is asking Campbell to drop all other alternatives and focus just on a sale, sources said….
Loeb may go public in the next month to put pressure on the Campbell board to shift to a sale plan, a source said.