U.S. activist shareholder Third Point LLC has targeted Nestle (NESN.S) by taking a $3.5 billion stake in the food maker and urging Europe’s most valuable company to boost returns as demand for its products weakens.

Nestle shares jumped as much as 4.8 percent on Monday, touching a record high after Third Point disclosed its position late on Sunday in a letter to the hedge fund’s investors. In the letter, Third Point said it was urging the Swiss group to improve margins, buy back shares and get rid of non-core businesses, including its $27 billion stake in L’Oreal (OREP.PA). Third Point’s 40 million shares – or 1.3 percent of the total – make it Nestle’s eighth-largest shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data. The $10 billion added to Nestle’s market value on Monday showed that shareholders hoped the investment would spark change at a company which has a reputation for being slow-moving and insular.

http://www.reuters.com…   Tue.,  27  June 2017