Campbell Soup Slams Third Point's 'Aggressive And Short-Sighted Tactics' In Letter
Campbell Soup Company has written a letter to its shareholders in which it slams activist shareholder Third Point's 'aggressive and short-sighted tactics' in terms of the future direction of the business.
In the letter, attributed to Keith McLoughlin, the company's interim president and chief executive, he describes the future of Campbell as 'bright' saying that the 'best path forward' for the company is to 'focus the Company, pursue the divestiture of non-core businesses and use the proceeds to significantly pay down debt and strengthen our balance sheet, and further reduce costs and increase our asset efficiency'.
He admits, however, that the company is 'mindful' of its recent performance, adding, 'Simply put, we know we need to and can do better'.
On Third Point, McLoughlin says that the New York-based hedge fund 'recently became a Campbell shareholder and held material short positions in Campbell stock for most of 2017, is attempting to deprive shareholders of the future value potential of Campbell by forcing a sale of your Company while we are executing on our strategic plan to create value.
'The Campbell Board strongly objects to Third Point’s aggressive and short-sighted tactics and urges shareholders to reject the hedge fund’s misguided efforts and “one-point” agenda for Campbell.'
The publication of the letter coincides with the news that Third Point has issued an ultimatum to Campbell to access private financial documents and the minutes of board meetings, as it seeks to replace the board of directors.
In that letter, which was reported by Reuters, Third Point cites a local statute in New Jersey, where Campbell is based, which gives shareholders the right to review confidential documents as long as they demonstrate a "proper purpose" for gaining access to said records.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.