Activist investor Nelson Peltz has turned himself into one of the food sector's most-influential players, affecting how millions of people eat each day. Through his holding company, Triarc Companies,
Peltz has long owned Arby's. His Trian Fund Management holds 5.3% of Wendy's International; about 3.5% of Cadbury Schweppes, and 4.3% of Heinz. Sources say the fund has also accumulated roughly 3% of
A college dropout in the 1960s who got his start loading peaches and strawberries onto trucks for his family's food-distribution company, Peltz exercises his influence boldly,
calling executives regularly to seek updates or float ideas.
Peltz's moves could cascade through the food industry and put several companies in play, analysts say. With Cadbury set to focus
on candy, it could become a powerful acquirer or generate a bidding war involving Hershey Co. and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Following Peltz's activism, Heinz has gone on a sales tear, and is building cash
reserves it could use for acquisitions. As Peltz turns his attention to Kraft, he is said to be pushing it to focus on its strongest brands. That could spark consolidation.
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