Dan Loeb’s Famous Charm Lost On (Most Of) The Campbell Family

No more Mr. Nice Activist, which actually suits Danny just fine.
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / 

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / 

Last month, we learned that Dan Loeb had turned the fullforce of his sparklingpersonality upon those descendants of Joseph A. Campbell who collectively own 41% of his namesake canned soup company. Loeb's goal? Convince them that after nearly 150 years (mostly) in the family, it was high time they sold the whole thing off to someone who knows what they’re doing.

And it worked, in so far as one Campbell heir with a 2.8% stake came around to his way of thinking. On the other hand, those family members with the other 38.8% and the Campbell’s board aren’t yet convinced. As you might expect, Dan Loeb has some things to say about that.

Third Point, the activist fund run by Dan Loeb, disclosed a stake in Campbell Soup Co. and said a sale of the company would be the best outcome in its current strategic review after years of “abysmal oversight….”

Loeb said in the filing that Third Point has had conversations with the company’s interim chief executive officer, Keith McLoughlin. Based on the talks, and subsequent statements from the company, he said he believes a sale is being considered. And given the obstacles the company faces, “the only justifiable outcome of the strategic review is for the issuer to be sold to a strategic buyer,” he said….

Loeb said in the filing that he started to build most of his position after the company’s “disastrous” fiscal third quarter results in May and the unexpected departure of Chief Executive Denise Morrison. After researching the company, he concluded the board of directors have “permitted management missteps, dismal operating performance, and a series of ill-advised acquisitions to take an irreversible toll.”

In other words, it took me five minutes to realize you’re all terrible at this. What’s taking you so long?

Dan Loeb Takes Stake in Campbell, Pushes for Sale of Soup Maker [Bloomberg]