U.S. News

Icahn Takes Stake in Kraft Foods: WSJ


Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in Kraft Foods, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Kraft , the largest U.S. food company, is already contending with activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has recently acquired a 3% stake in the Northfield, Ill., maker of Oreo cookies and Oscar Meyer meats.

Although the paper learned of Icahn's stake from people who were familiar with the matter, the report said it is unclear how much Kraft stock Icahn has purchased and how long he has held it.

Icahn wasn't immediately available for comment.

However, a person familiar with the matter told the paper Icahn isn't currently agitating for change at the company in the way that he has at such targets as Motorola and Time Warner .

The report also said Kraft Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld has agreed to meet with Peltz next week to hear his ideas for the struggling food giant.

Peltz is advocating that Kraft focus on its grocery and frozen-foods brands, which include cheese and DiGiornio pizza, sell its Post cereals and Maxwell House coffee businesses and use the proceeds from those sales to buy back shares.

Details of the upcoming meeting aren’t clear.

Last year, Peltz won a seat on the board of H.J. Heinz after a lengthy proxy battle. He has also pushed for change at other companies, including Cadbury Schweppes and Tiffany .

Kraft is in the midst of a restructuring led by Rosenfeld, who was appointed chief executive last summer.