Can Anglo-Saxon activist investors whip Danone into shape? thumbnail

EMMANUEL FABER utilized to be seen as the spiritual son of Franck Riboud, honorary chairman and previous employer of Danone, whose dad Antoine co-founded the French yogurt-maker. Mr Riboud handpicked Mr Faber as his follower and loyally backed his change of Danone into France’s first entreprise à mission, a business type with a defined social purpose.
According to the French press, Mr Riboud believes Mr Faber is more interested in conserving the planet than conserving his company. Danone’s share price fell by 27%in 2020 while those of rivals such as Nestlé and Unilever made gains amid pandemic larder-stocking.

Danone has been hit harder by covid-19 than rivals because of its big bottled-water service. In 2017 Danone overpaid for WhiteWave, an American maker of health-focused fare that it bought for $125 bn. The deal, which strained the balance-sheet however did not produce hoped-for returns, is the primary factor for Danone’s current despair, states Alan Erskine of Credit Suisse, a bank.

By Admin