Peltz takes seat at Sysco's board

by Monica Watrous
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Nelson Peltz (left) and Josh Frank (right) have been added to Sysco Corp.’s board of directors.
Nelson Peltz (left) and Josh Frank (right) have been added to Sysco Corp.’s board of directors.

HOUSTON — Nelson Peltz, CEO and a founding partner of Trian Fund Management, LP, and Josh Frank, a Trian partner, have been added to Sysco Corp.’s board of directors, expanding the board to 12 members. Peltz and Frank will be included in the company’s slate of nominees for election at its annual shareholder meeting, Sysco said.

With an approximate 7.1 percent stake, Trian represents the food service distributor’s largest shareholder. In a recent regulatory filing, Trian said Sysco’s shares were “undervalued” in the marketplace and that Sysco needs to improve operating margins, enhance working capital efficiency, use incremental leverage to increase shareholder returns and realign management compensation with corporate performance.

“We are firmly committed to enhancing value for all Sysco shareholders and always welcome constructive input toward driving long-term shareholder value,” said Jackie Ward, non-executive chairman of Sysco's board of directors. “Nelson and Josh will bring our board an informed perspective based on their significant experience in the food products industry. We have engaged in constructive dialogue with Nelson and Josh and look forward to benefiting from their insights and contributions.”

Sysco’s net income for the year ended June 27 totaled $686,773,000, equal to $1.16 per share on the common stock, down from the previous year when the company earned $931,533,000, or $1.59 per share. Sales for the year totaled $48,680,752,000, an increase compared with fiscal 2014 when sales totaled $46,516,712,000. Much of the decline in net income was attributable to the cancellation of the acquisition of US Foods and the charges Sysco incurred as a result.

“As evidenced by our recent full-year and fourth-quarter results, Sysco is well positioned to continue building on its momentum to enhance long-term shareholder value,” said Bill DeLaney, president and CEO of Sysco. “We respect Trian’s experience and value the perspective they will bring as we continue to focus on supporting the success of our customers, profitably growing our business and improving our return on invested capital.

“As we previously announced, we plan to repurchase an incremental $3 billion in Sysco shares over the next two years and we will continue to further evaluate opportunities to optimize our capital structure, while improving productivity across our business.”

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