Peltz Pushing PepsiCo Purchase of Mondelez Again

Activist investor says he is talking to Nooyi, Rosenfeld about snack mega-deal

Nelson Peltz

NEW YORK -- Activist investor Nelson Peltz says he wants PepsiCo Inc. to buy Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International and spin off its own underperforming beverage unit, reported the Associated Press.

During an interview on CNBC, Peltz said he talked about the proposal with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. He said he has a meeting planned with Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld in the next couple of weeks.

PepsiCo shares rose in afternoon trading on the news.

Speculation that Peltz could push for a combination of the two snack food giants began earlier this year, with his Trian Fund Management disclosing stakes in the two companies.

The New York native is known for building stakes in companies than forcing change.

Mondelez and PepsiCo, whose financial performances have both been under scrutiny lately, have said they are happy with their current portfolios.

PepsiCo has long been the subject of speculation that it would spin off its underperforming beverage business. CEO Indra Nooyi tried to quash such talk last year with a "Power of One" marketing campaign that featured the company's sodas alongside its chips. But PepsiCo has nevertheless been reviewing options to restructure its North American beverage business and recently said it would provide more thoughts on the matter early next year, AP said in March.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez is a global snacking company with 2012 revenue of $35 billion. It is a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; Jacobs coffee; LU, Nabisco and Oreo biscuits; Tang powdered beverages; and Trident gum.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses are Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola.