REUTERS: Activist investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC on Friday urged Campbell Soup Co's shareholders to vote in favor of the hedge fund's nominees.
Third Point, which has launched a proxy fight to replace the American food company's 12-member board, unveiled a slate of nominees last week.
Third Point owned a 5.65 percent stake in Campbell as of Sept. 6, according to Reuters data. Loeb bought his stake in Campbell after Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison unexpectedly stepped down in May.
Campbell filed its preliminary proxy material urging shareholders to vote for the 12 director nominees recommended by the board. (https://bit.ly/2NawBER)
Late last month, the company said it planned to sell its international and fresh refrigerated-foods units and left open the possibility of putting the whole company up for sale, as it commenced a months-long review.
The fund said the Campbell board's failure to have a functioning chief executive succession plan in place following Morrison's exit was "a reflection of its inability to conduct one of the most essential duties of any board of directors." (https://bit.ly/2Mu2gM5)
The 149-year-old company, which revolutionized the home-cooking industry with easy-to-prepare soups and low-cost production techniques, has been struggling to attract young consumers to its namesake soups and Pepperidge Farm cookies.
(The story corrects to remove reference that Campbell filed proxy statement after Third Point's statement.)
(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)