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P&G Shareholders Claim Victory in Proxy Fight Against Nelson Peltz; Activist Investor Not Conceding Yet
Proctor & Gamble said on Tuesday that “based on a preliminary vote count” its shareholders have won its expensive proxy battle against activist investor Nelson Peltz, but Peltz’s Trian Partners insist that the vote is still too close to call, as CNBC reports.
Considered the biggest proxy battle in history, the two sides spent at least $60 million on the cause, while P&G also enlisted the help of banking giants Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Morgan Stanley and Centerview to help fight back Peltz’s bid for a seat on the company’s board. P&G released a statement announcing the results of the voting following its annual shareholder’s meeting.
P&G’s Board and management team thank P&G shareholders for their support, input and participation throughout the proxy contest. We are encouraged that shareholders recognize P&G is a profoundly different, much stronger, more profitable Company than just a few years ago. The changes the Company has made are broad based and delivering results. We look forward to continuing our transformation journey. We are committed to meeting the needs of consumers with our brands and products, and to creating value for P&G shareholders.
However, Trian Partners, which has a $3.5-billion stake in P&G, indicated it intends to keep fighting.
Trian has already said it plans to challenge the proxy results. Peltz added in an interview with CNBC that regardless of the outcome he will continue to advocate for the company to follow his recommendations, which include streamlining its structure and focusing more on small acquisitions of innovative brands.
“I don’t think they’re serving their shareholders properly. I don’t think they have a structure today that’s right for that business,” Peltz said.
Trian Partners nominated Peltz to P&G’s board in July. Among the firm’s grievances with the company’s board is what it described as weak shareholder returns, deteriorating market share and excessive costs and bureaucracy.
Peltz and Trian maintain that they are not looking to oust P&G CEO David Taylor.