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Internal Discord At Danone Helped Ripen Case For Activist Funds, Say Sources

By Maev Martin
Internal Discord At Danone Helped Ripen Case For Activist Funds, Say Sources

Abruptly ousted as head of Danone, the yoghurt group he turned into a standard bearer for green-friendly businesses, chief executive officer Emmanuel Faber's dismissal is a rare win for activist funds in France campaigning for his removal.

Faber's struggle to address simmering unease among board members, after some of the former CEO's strategy shifts led to internal disputes in recent months, laid the groundwork for a coup before the investors' intervention, said two people familiar with the group, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

In an interview, Bluebell Capital, one of the funds which broke cover in January to criticise stock market returns at Danone and called on Faber to leave, also said that recurring rumours of discord in local French media had partly triggered its investment.


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