November 9, 2018 / 3:22 PM / 10 days ago

Third Point lowers nominees to Campbell Soup board from 12 to five

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Third Point LLC, in the midst of a proxy battle with Campbell Soup Co, has cut the number of its nominees to the board of the soup maker to five from 12, the investment firm said on Friday.

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 Campbell board members at the company's Nov. 29 shareholder meeting.

Campbell has pushed for its board to remain intact. It did not respond to a request for comment on Third Point's latest move.

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.

In comparison, Third Point owns a roughly 7 percent stake in Campbell.

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

"We now understand that the Short Slate is exactly what is needed to set Campbell on a sustainable path to renewed competitiveness and growth," Third Point said in a letter to Campbell shareholders. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru)

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