Campbell Soup is working on a third-party agreement that would add two of the activist funds nominated to the board,…
Campbell Soup is working on a third-party agreement that would add two of the activist funds nominated to the board, former Blue Buffalo CEO Kurt Schmidt and Comscore President Sarah Hofstetter, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC on Sunday.  div> div.group> p: first child “/>
As part of the deal, Campbell would expand the size of its board with at least two board seats, said the person. Campbell currently has 12 Board members, with the ability to go to 14, with the Board’s approval. Its statutes can be amended to increase the board even more. The conversation will only be days before Campbell shareholders will meet on Thursday, November 29th.
The person warned that the settlement, first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier Sunday, is not yet official. It is possible that its terms can be changed, or the two can not reach a solution at all.
The person requested anonymity because the negotiations are confidential. Third point was not immediately available for comments. Campbell declined to comment.
Third Point and its founder Dan Loeb, who owns about 7 percent of the shares in Campbell, would originally replace the mushroom company’s entire board. The third point is now to add only five directors, it has said.
Should Third Point and Campbell secure an agreement, it would mark a huge shift for a mushroom company, strongly linked to its tradition of being largely run as a family business. Three of Campbell’s heirs sit on their board. The following family owns at least 41
percent of the company and promised its support from the mushroom company. It is also like one of Campbell mushrooms, George Strawbridge Jr., collaborating with Loeb in the proxy battle.
However, a number of mistakes and poor economic development left the mushroom company vulnerable. Campbell has delivered a total return of 19 percent over the past 20 years, while the S & P 500 has almost tripled over the same period.
It now sells its fresh grocery store, which prevents efforts to enter the faster growing area of the grocery store. After struggling because of inexperience and a bad time, the fresh food unit showed a loss of 3 million USD in the last quarter. Campbell’s latest acquisition, its $ 6.2 billion acquisition of pretzel and Snyder’s Lance chip company, more than tripled its debt burden.
“Subpar” surveillance of issues such as M & A, as well as its financial results, helped drive shareholder consulting companies ISS support from third-party five-person slate announced earlier this month. The influential company’s opinion put pressure on Campbell to offer invitations to the board, even though the family voices contributed to strengthening their defense.
The opinion came before Campbell’s last, better than expected results for the first quarter.
While Third Point was originally run for a sale by Campbell, hedging sites do not necessarily mean that the company will be sold. The challenges facing Campbell and others make it unclear if there is a buyer at a good price for the entire company. However, the company requires two thirds of shareholders voting approval for major offers.