Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC plans to launch a proxy fight to replace Campbell Soup Co.’s entire board after the fund was underwhelmed by the company’s plan to sell two business units, said people familiar with the matter.
If it were to succeed in ousting the board, the activist hedge fund believes all potential options for the company could be back on the table. Third Point’s prior stance was that a sale of the whole company was “the only justifiable outcome” for Campbell CPB, +0.48% under its current board and management. It is rare for activist investors to attempt a wholesale flip of a company’s board — and even rarer that they succeed in doing so.
But Third Point is seeking every seat and thinks Campbell’s current board, which includes three descendants of the inventor of Campbell soup, isn’t acting fast enough to turn around the struggling food conglomerate and undo some of the strategic missteps it oversaw, the people said. Third Point has allied itself with George Strawbridge Jr., another descendant and previous board member who owns a 2.77% stake in the company.
Third Point could announce its slate, which includes Strawbridge, Third Point employees and former consumer-products executives, among others, as soon as this week, the people said. The deadline to nominate directors to be voted on at the company’s annual meeting is Sept. 16.
Also popular on WSJ.com: