Campbell Soup offers to add two Third Point nominees to board

(Reuters) – Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N), which is in the midst of a proxy battle with Third Point LLC, said on Friday it had offered to add two of the hedge fund’s nominees to its board after the investment firm lowered the number of nominees to five from 12.

The soup maker had proposed adding Kurt Schmidt and Sarah Hofstetter from the hedge fund’s slate to the board following its annual meeting. However, Third Point had rejected it, Campbell said.

“Nonetheless, we believe it is important for all of our shareholders to know that we are offering to add … Mr. Schmidt and Ms. Hofstetter,” the company said.

Loeb’s smaller slate of five includes Third Point executive Munib Islam, Comscore’s (SCOR.O) Sarah Hofstetter, pet food maker Blue Buffalo’s CEO Kurt Schmidt, Hostess Brands’ (TWNK.O) former CEO William Toler and Bozoma Saint John, a former Uber executive.

Third Point, the $17 billion hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb, has accused the 149-year-old packaged food company of mismanagement and destroying shareholder value.

In September, the hedge fund had nominated 12 directors, including an heir of Campbell’s controlling family, to replace all board members at the company’s Nov. 29 shareholder meeting.

Heirs of the Dorrances, one of America’s richest families, have long controlled Campbell and currently sit on its board.

The heirs have said they intend to vote their 41 percent ownership stake in favor of Campbell’s current board. Third Point owns a roughly 7 percent stake in the company.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal and Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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