PepsiCo Inc. in Purchase will publicly disclose all of its federal and state political lobbyists as well as trade organizations and grassroots groups that the company funds in an agreement reached with State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
The agreement announced Friday by the comptroller’s office is part of DiNapoli’s three-year effort to force disclosure of political spending by companies in which the New York State Common Retirement Fund holds shares. The state pension fund, administered by the comptroller, owns approximately 5.2 million PepsiCo shares valued at nearly $400 million.
DiNapoli withdrew a shareholder’s resolution seeking the disclosures in exchange for PepsiCo’s agreement to post its lobbying ties on its website before the food and beverage giant’s annual stockholder meeting May 1.
The company also agreed to review and revamp its website regarding political contributions, lobbying and disclosure and further explain how it interacts with trade associations by the fourth quarter of 2013.
PepsiCo already reports to the state its contract and expenditures for lobbying state and municipal government officials in New York.
“PepsiCo has taken an important step in giving shareholders a clear view of the way it uses corporate dollars in the political arena,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Shareholder value is enhanced and reputational risks are reduced when companies disclose how corporate money is being spent in politics. Companies should follow PepsiCo’s lead by embracing transparency.”
DiNapoli in 2011 and 2012 filed 27 shareholder resolutions on behalf of the pension fund seeking disclosure of political spending and reached agreements with 10 companies. This year he has filed 26 shareholder resolutions and has reached agreements with several companies, including KeyCorp, the parent company of Key Bank.
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