July 14, 2007 / 12:33 AM / 12 years ago

Icahn takes stake in Kraft Foods: report

Activist investor Carl Icahn responds to a question at a meeting in New York, February 7, 2006. Icahn has taken a stake in Kraft Foods Inc., according to the online version of The Wall Street Journal. REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in Kraft Foods Inc. KFT.N, according to the online version of The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said it was unclear how much of a stake Icahn has taken or when he bought the shares, but it did say he was not seeking radical changes, as he has at other companies in which he has invested.

The newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, also said Kraft Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld planned to meet next week with another activist investor, Nelson Peltz.

Neither Kraft, Icahn nor Peltz could be reached immediately for comment.

A source told Reuters in June that Peltz’s Trian Fund had acquired a 3 percent stake in Kraft Foods, and wanted the company to get rid of unsuccessful brands and find a better use for its cash. Kraft has not commented publicly on any stake held by Peltz, who also owns a stake in food company Cadbury Schweppes Plc CBRY.L.

Financier Icahn, who is known for pressuring companies such as Motorola Inc MOT.N and Blockbuster Inc BBI.N for strategic and management changes, has built up an estimated net worth of $13 billion by buying and selling companies over 25 years.

He recently led a revolt against Blockbuster CEO and Chairman John Antioco, who resigned from his post early this month. Icahn’s American Real Estate Partners LP (ACP.N) investment firm is currently vying to buy auto parts company Lear Corp (LEA.N).

Peltz, meanwhile, succeeded last year in capturing a slate of board seats at ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co HNZ.N and also successfully pressured Wendy’s International Inc. WEN.N to spin off its Tim Hortons Inc THI.TO coffeehouse chain.

Kraft, the largest North American food maker with brands such as Oreos, Jell-O and Oscar Mayer hot dogs, recently announced plans to buy Danone’s (DANO.PA) cookie unit.

Reporting by Alexandria Sage. Additional reporting by Patrick Fitzgibbons

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