Dan Loeb Wants Campbell’s To Go Back In Time, Unbuy All That Stock Back

How could it not know in 1988 this would screw everything up in 2018.


Dan Loeb usually loves a good buyback. Can’t get enough of them. They’re almost never all he wants, but they’re often somewhere on the wishlist—both his and, well, every other shareholder activist's, which is why Larry Fink has to shake his head and tell America’s corporate leadership they’ve disappointed him yet again.

Sometimes, however, Dan Loeb is opposed to buybacks. Specifically, buybacks that have already happened. More specifically, a series of buybacks dating to when he was 27 years old and which have now made his dream of becoming a latter-day Andy Warhol and reinventing Campbell’s Soup all but impossible, no matter how many hard-hitting videos he makes or unkind aspersions he throws at the elderly, which Campbell’s board should have foreseen three decades ago.

Share buybacks have given Malone and Dorrance “almost total control” of the company, Third Point said in a letter to shareholders. Other investors could effectively have no say in the company’s most important transactions because Campbell’s charter requires two-thirds of shareholder votes to approve major deals, the hedge fund said….

The company, which has repurchased about $11.2 billion of shares in the past 28 fiscal years, said the buybacks reflect a commitment to returning capital to shareholders and maximizing their long-term value.

Third Point says buybacks allowed Campbell heirs to build power [Reuters]