Billionaire Nelson Peltz’s hedge-fund management firm doubled its stake in Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ), and bought 8.1 million PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) shares, amid speculation he’ll push for the companies to combine.
Trian Fund Management LP held 40.3 million Mondelez shares in the quarter ending in March, up from 19.4 million at the end of last year, according to filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. The New York-based firm held 12 million PepsiCo shares in the period, up from 3.9 million at year-end, the filing also shows.
Trian first disclosed stakes in Mondelez and PepsiCo last month, spurring reports that Peltz will push for a merger of the food makers. PepsiCo said after that filing was released that it had talked with Trian about ideas to drive growth and shareholder value.
Relational Investors LLC, run by Ralph Whitworth, bought 10.8 million shares of Deerfield, Illinois-based Mondelez in the period, creating a 0.6 percent stake, it also said in a filing. Relational, based in San Diego, sold all of its 7.59 million shares of Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo.
Whitworth supported Peltz’s efforts to combine the companies, a person familiar with the matter said last month.
PepsiCo and Mondelez have previously declined to comment on the speculation.
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