The activist investor Nelson Peltz and his hedge fund company Trian Partners have taken on DuPont Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. in the past. Now they're making plans for global consumer products brand Unilever plc.
Peltz and his firm haven't said what their plan is for Unilever, the owner of Dove soap, Hellmann's mayonnaise, Vasoline, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and dozens of other brands. But Trian typically buys enough shares in a company to call for placing its own officials — including Peltz — onto a board of directors where it calls for practices to increase shareholder wealth. In 2015, Peltz fought for a place on the board of DuPont, and although the materials company successfully fought him off, just a few months later it ousted its then-CEO, Ellen Kullman, before merging with Dow Chemical Co.
At P&G in 2018, Peltz won a fight to be placed on the board, stepping down only after the Cincinnati-based consumer products company agreed to some of his demands.
Unilever, although it does not make its own packaging, is a big enough force in consumer products that its requirements for sustainability, material selection and other options drive a lot of decisions made by its packaging suppliers.
The company is at risk because of a gamble it took recently in a failed bid to buy GlaxoSmithKline plc's consumer health care business, Bloomberg writes.
Bloomberg also cited sources that Unilever will cut "numerous" regional and divisional executives to try and produce a leaner corporate structure that will respond more rapidly to changing conditions.
Keep your eyes out for further updates.