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

May 07, 2003, 01:00 ET from MMA

    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
     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
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