Nelson Peltz, an activist investor who has been involved with several large food companies, has taken a stake in Unilever.
Peltz’s Trian Partners bought an undisclosed stake in Unilever last weekend. Unilever’s shareholders have reportedly been unhappy with the company’s growth during the pandemic, which was roughly half that of rivals Nestlé and Procter & Gamble. Some have called for Unilever to sell off most or all of its food business, which includes Hellman’s mayonnaise and Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and concentrate more on personal care products.
Unilever had bid for the consumer-products division of GlaxoSmithKline, but its $48 billion offer was rejected. Peltz had been buying Unilever shares before the GSK offer, sources told the Wall Street Journal. An analyst said he expects Peltz to push for a split between Unilever’s food portfolio and the rest of the company.
Peltz was elected to the board of Procter & Gamble in 2017, and has also served on the boards of Mondelēz International and H.J. Heinz Co.