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Campbell Soup Falls Amid Report Company Doesn't Plan To Sell Itself To A Strategic Buyer

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Campbell Soup Falls Amid Report Company Doesn't Plan To Sell Itself To A Strategic Buyer
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Notable activist investor Dan Loeb may have a proxy war on his hand after a New York Post report said Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) isn't looking to sell itself.

What Happened

Loeb's activist hedge fund Third Point and company heir George Strawbridge own an approximately 8.4-percent stake in the canned soup and food company and made their position clear in July that a sale of the company to a strategic buyer is needed to improve its competitive standing. However, the New York Post, citing its sources, reported Monday evening the company will publicly state it has no intention in selling itself.

The company could announce as soon as Thursday the results of a multi-month long review the board of directors conducted, the Post said. The likelihood of the board saying it will explore a sale is 10 percent -- a decision that will likely lead to a proxy war with Loeb.

Why It's Important

"If whatever is on the call is not satisfactory, then Dan will go bananas," the Post report quoted a source as saying.

However, Loeb may be fighting an uphill battle as two family members of the soup empire, Bennett Dorrance and Mary Alice Malone, control nearly enough shares among themselves to vote down a deal.

What's Next

A Campbell spokeswoman told the Post it doesn't "comment on rumors or speculation," but did confirm the board of directors is examining "all potential paths forward."

Campbell's stock was down 4.6 percent to $38.84 in Tuesday's pre-market session.

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