Constellation Brands said Luca Zaramella, chief financial officer or Mondelez International, and William (Bill) T. Giles, former CFO of AutoZone were elected to the company's board of directors. They were nominated by Elliott Investment Management, an activist investor that Wall Street analysts said they expected to help steer corporate governance further from control by the founding Sands family.
In return for getting two directors on the board, and receiving certain confidential information which other shareholders won't receive, Elliott has agreed not to acquire or sell any more shares.
Portfolio managers for Elliott said they believed Constellation's growth potential, which is tied to its Modelo brands license, isn't appreciated by investors.
Activist investors generally acquire a position in a company and take a long-term perspective, seeking to improve the company's results and shareprice through discussions with the company's management and other shareholders. Private equity investors, on the other hand, tend to be looking for a relatively quick buck. Often they sell some units, load a company with debt and take it public again.