New York Hedge Fund Thinks Canadian Co. Should Go ‘Pop’

May 27 2008 | 9:01am ET

Crescendo Partners thinks Canadian soft-drink maker Cott Corp. is a little flat, and the New York hedge fund is moving to shake things up.

Crescendo has taken an 8.7% stake in Cott, and that it will push for changes at the struggling company, including seats on its board. The hedge fund “has engaged in and intends to continue to engage in discussions with management and the board of directors of the issuer concerning the business, operations and future plans,” it said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The hedge fund, which calls Cott “very undervalued,” has offered a former Cott executive, Csaba Reider, as its proposed CEO. It also said it would name Mario Pilozzi, a former CEO of Wal-Mart Canada, to a board seat should it win any.

Cott’s recent troubles—its shares were down more than 80% from a year ago prior to Crescendo’s announcement, which pushed Cott’s stock price up almost 14%—were punctuated by Wal-Mart’s decision to cut its shelf space and merchandising support. The company post at US$20.7 million loss in the first quarter as sales declined 2.6%.

Crescendo said it would meet with Cott executives to discuss “potential changes in the composition of the management team and the board of directors.”

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