Nestle SA (NSRGY)  opened firmly higher Wednesday after the world's biggest food company said it would buyback around $21 billion in shares over the next three years following criticism from the U.S. hedge fund Third Point LLC and indicated it may look at acquisitions in key growth areas.

Nestle said it launched a program to increase shareholder returns earlier this year which included a "comprehensive review" of its capital structure and priorities. The review, the company said, determined that capital spending should focus on high-growth sectors such as coffee, pet care, infant nutrition and bottled water as well as consumer healthcare. It also said it would "continue to assess opportunities for margin improvement" through selective cost-cutting.

Watch More with TheStreet: