Activist investor Nelson Peltz buys 1 pct stake in Danone - FT

Tue Nov 6, 2012 8:49pm EST

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Activist investor Nelson Peltz has bought a one percent stake in Danone SA and is expected to push for cost cuts and operational changes at the French food conglomerate, the Financial Times reported.

Peltz will ask Danone chief executive Franck Riboud to work on improving operating margins by 100 basis points to 15.1 percent by 2015, and return all excess cash in the form of share buybacks, the newspaper said

Peltz's stake in the world's largest yoghurt maker is valued at about 300 million euros ($384 million), according to the paper.

Trian, the U.S. investment firm co-founded by Peltz, views Danone as being undervalued and would not seek any radical action, the paper said, citing sources familiar with Peltz's plans.

Peltz and Danone were not immediately available for comment. ($1 = 0.7812 euros) (Reporting By Pallavi Ail in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Wills)