Business

Nelson Peltz Targets Unilever

LONDON – Just a few days ago, Unilever suffered a crushing setback when it was forced to drop a $68 billion bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health business.

It now has to deal with one of Wall Street’s most famous activist investors, Nelson Peltz, who has amassed a stake in the consumer products giant through his investment firm, Trian Fund Management , the two briefed on the matter on Sunday.

It’s not clear how many shares Trian owns or what they’re calling for, although one of the people said the company started buying shares in Unilever before the company was founded. pursuing the GlaxoSmithKline business has become public.

Representatives for Unilever and Trian declined to comment on the investment, which was first reported by Financial Times.

But the arrival of Trian, known for driving change at giants like General Electric, Mondelez and Procter & Gamble, adds pressure to Unilever as it searches for direction. new strategy.

Shares of Unilever plummeted last week after the company said it was interested in buying Glaxo’s consumer business, despite being rejected three times. After fierce outcry from investors and analysts – one analyst titled his research note on the deal “Please Don’t” – over concerns about price and potential consolidation. business case, Unilever said it would not raise its takeover bid, effectively walking away.

Unilever has said that it wants to focus more on faster-growing businesses such as beauty, health and hygiene, and will sell slower-growing businesses. The company has already taken steps towards that, including through a deal last year to sell global tea brands like Lipton and Tazo.

And two years ago, it moved to consolidate its vast consumer goods empire in Londonabandoned its second headquarters in Amsterdam to simplify its operations.

Even before GlaxoSmithKline’s bid, one of Unilever’s other top shareholders, investment firm Fundsmith, Criticize the company for focusing too much on climate- and social-focused causes, and said the company neglected its basic business practices.

Unilever now faces a potential new threat in Trian, known for writing detailed performance analysis of its shareholder performance targets. (The so-called GE white paper is 80 pages long.)

Trian is known for pushing companies to simplify their corporate structure, often through divesting underperforming businesses. At P.&G.For example, Trian argues that the consumer goods giant should cut costs and layers of bureaucracy, though not necessarily sell off parts.

Mr. Peltz finally won a board seat at P.&G. in 2017, after doing what had already been done. most expensive council war on profile. He eventually stepped down last year, with shares of P.&G. having risen significantly from when Trian first started calling for change.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/23/business/dealbook/unilever-glaxo-nelson-peltz-trian.html Nelson Peltz Targets Unilever

Fry Electronics Team

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