Unilever's shares rose by 5% on Monday following reports that activist investor Nelson Peltz has built a stake in the consumer goods maker, as its strategy comes under scrutiny after a short-lived pursuit of GSK's consumer healthcare arm.
Peltz's activist hedge fund, Trian Partners, has built an unspecified stake in Unilever, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. New York-based Trian is known for proposing operational fixes at its portfolio companies.
Shares of Unilever, which owns brands such as Dove soap and Hellmann's mayonnaise, were up by 4.7% at 3,848.5 pence and were the biggest gainer on London's blue-chip FTSE 100 index.
In 2018, Trian called for a slew of changes at Procter & Gamble. Peltz was then added to the board of the company, following a months-long proxy fight.
As of Friday's close, Unilever lost 6% in value since the GSK overtures were disclosed on 15 January and within a few days it effectively abandoned the £50 billion ($68 billion) pursuit of the GSK assets.
Some analysts said the mega deal, which would have been one of the largest ever on the London market had it gone through, was unexpected and raised questions about Unilever's plans under chief executive officer Alan Jope.