Sources tell the U.K.’s Telegraph that billionaire investor Nelson Peltz has acquired stakes in both PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ). The size of Peltz’s holdings in both companies remains unclear, but the activist investor has reportedly spent as much as $2 billion buying both companies’ shares.
Other investors are said to be using special purpose vehicles to acquire shares, potentially inflating the stakes under Peltz’s control.
Some London analysts said that Peltz may be looking to merge the two businesses. A deal to combine the companies could be worth a staggering $170 billion. However, others suggested that Peltz could pursue an alternate agenda in Pepsi’s case, splitting up the company.
In 2007, Cadbury Schweppes announced that it would split itself into two companies shortly after Peltz’s investment firm, Trian Fund Management, acquired a 3% stake in the business.
Mondelez was formerly the international snack foods business of Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT). The company split itself into two separate companies last year.
Shares of Mondelez climbed more than 2% in Friday morning trading, while PepsiCo rose about 1%.