March 22 (Reuters) - Shares of food makers Mondelez International Inc and PepsiCo Inc rose on Friday after a U.K. newspaper reported that activist shareholder Nelson Peltz has been building stakes in them.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported that Peltz had spent $2 billion on shares of the companies through his investment vehicle Trian Fund Management. The paper speculated that Peltz could then push for a merger of the two companies.
A spokeswoman for Trian declined to comment on the report. Spokesmen for PepsiCo and Mondelez declined to comment on rumor or speculation, though both said they were pleased with their current portfolios at the moment.
"We are making strong progress in our strategy to deliver long-term growth and create shareholder value," said a PepsiCo spokesman. "We do not see the need for any large scale M&A."
Mondelez shares were up $1.14, or 4 percent, to $29.70 on the Nasdaq, while PepsiCo shares were up $1.65, or 2.2 percent, at $77.80 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski