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Campbell quits proxy fight with third point, adds directors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Campbell Soup and Third Point LLC settled their proxy competition on Monday by adding two of…

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Campbell Soup and Third Point LLC settled their proxy competition on Monday by adding two of the hedge fund nominees to the US food company board and giving the activist the investor a statement in the election of Campbell’s next CEO, the company said.

FILPHOTO: Cans of Campbell’s Soup appears in a supermarket in New York City, USA, February 1

5, 2017. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / File Photo

Campbell Soup will expand its board with the addition of third Point nominated Sarah Hofstetter, who is Chairman of Comscore, and Kurt Schmidt, a former CEO of the Blue Buffalo Company. By May 2019 another director will be added and third point will be heard about the election.

Hedgefundet, which owns 7 percent of the company, will also be able to offer its views on two board meetings and two meetings with the CEO over the next 12 months.

In return, Third Point promised not to run a proxy competition next year.

Campbell’s share was 2.9 percent at $ 39.36 at dinner trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The agreement between the 149-year-old food company and Loeb’s hedge fund, one of the world’s closest activist hedge funds, ends a fierce battle for US boardroom before an investor voted at Campbell’s annual meeting on Thursday. A number of legends to the Campbell estate, including three current board members, control about 41 percent of the company and made it more difficult for the third point to win the voting bill, telling people familiar with the issue.

“We are pleased to agree with the third point in Campbell’s best interests,” said Campbell CEO Keith McLoughlin in a statement.

Daniel Loeb, the billionaire investor who runs Third Point, said his company “looking forward to working with Campbell to improve the value of all shareholders at this important time for the company.”

Loeb asked at the start of other investors to help He resigned from the entire board and said that it was largely responsible for the company’s delayed share price and a quick takeover agreement that saddled it with much debt. He ran for a complete sale of the company.

Campbell McLoughlin said that the company had lost focus but now has a strategic plan and is busy executing it, for example, by trading its food store.

The company is still looking for a new CEO and expects to name one before the end of the year. The third point, which has spoken to a potential candidate, may be included in the decision, says the company.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing Dan Grebler

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