Strong Showing in Vote on Resolution Urging PepsiCo to Report on Effect of AIDS in Africa Operations
Religious Investors Achieve Sufficient Support to Resubmit Proxy in 2004
PLANO, Texas, MAY 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Concerned PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) shareholders garnered 7.5 percent support for a resolution voted on today at PepsiCo's annual meeting in Plano, Texas, that called on the soft drink giant to report on how it plans to deal with the business and employee impact of the AIDS pandemic in Africa. A first-year support level of 3 percent is required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for this proxy resolution to be reintroduced at PepsiCo in 2004. Mark Regier, stewardship investing services manager for MMA, said, "This is an extremely encouraging outcome and one that exceeds our expectations, which were modest. During a resolution's first year, you work hard just to make sure people know the issue exists. But this resolution seemed to strike a chord immediately with many shareholders. People understand that this is both a business and a humanitarian issue for PepsiCo. More shareholders now want to know how this pandemic will affect PepsiCo's business throughout Africa." The resolution was filed by MMA along with the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey, and ASC Investment Group. On March 4, 2003, the SEC rejected a PepsiCo effort to kill the proxy measure. The proxy resolution stated: "Shareholders request the Board of Directors to report on: the effect of the health pandemic on the company's operations in Sub-Saharan Africa; the Company's response to the pandemic; and, that the report would be made available to shareholders by October 2003 (omitting proprietary information and at reasonable cost)." Regier noted, "Other companies operating in Africa, including PepsiCo's direct competitors, have recognized the importance of this issue and are responding to shareholders' concerns about how they are dealing with it. At MMA, we are responsible as shareowners to call on PepsiCo to take the same action." ABOUT MMA and MMA PRAXIS MUTUAL FUNDS MMA, together with its MMA Praxis Mutual Funds, helps individuals meet their financial goals in ways that support their beliefs. MMA practices stewardship investing, a philosophy that balances a need for productive use of financial resources with a deep-seated concern for others. For more information on MMA Praxis, visit http://www.mmapraxis.com. As a stewardship solutions organization, MMA helps Anabaptists and others practice biblical stewardship through its expertise in insurance, financial services, charitable-giving programs, and educational resources. For more information, visit http://www.mma-online.org.
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