Peltz blasts PepsiCo again, seeks details on operations, strategy

Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:37pm EDT
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By Siddharth Cavale

(Reuters) - Activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has been pushing PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote) to separate its beverage and snacks businesses, blasted the company yet again on Thursday and demanded answers on operational issues and its corporate strategy.

Peltz's Trian Fund Management, which owns nearly 1 percent of PepsiCo's stock, has been urging the company to split its flourishing snacks division from its sluggish beverage business to create "two leaner and more entrepreneurial companies."

Peltz, in a letter to PepsiCo's board on Thursday, demanded the company give details about its expenses and provide volume growth and market share data for all its beverage categories in North America.

He also called for a meeting of shareholders and board members without the presence of PepsiCo's management.

In an email response to Peltz's latest letter, PepsiCo said two of its board members had already met with Trian without management present. "The board has thoroughly reviewed Trian's proposals and has concluded that they would not maximize shareholder value," PepsiCo said.

The company, known for beverages like Pepsi, Tropicana and Gatorade, also sells snacks such as Lays, Cheetos and Doritos chips, among others.

PepsiCo, like rival Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Quote), has been battling declining soda sales in developed markets, especially the United States, as health-conscious consumers switch to non-carbonated beverages such as juices and health drinks.

Peltz, in his latest letter, also asked PepsiCo to outline plans for its bottling operations, which have been a drag on the company's performance.   Continued...

Nelson Peltz, one of the principles of the Trian Group, addresses the audience at the H.J. Heinz Co. annual shareholder's meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 16, 2006. REUTERS/Jason Cohn