Coverage: Peltz wins seat on P&G board
Activist investor Nelson Peltz has narrowly won a seat on the board of Procter & Gamble Co., according to business media reports, after the company reported last week that the bid would not be successful.
David Benoit and Sharon Terlep of The Wall Street Journal had the news:
Nelson Peltz narrowly won a seat on the board of Procter & Gamble Co., an official tally showed, an embarrassing turn of events for a company that weeks earlier had claimed to have defeated the activist investor.
After the most expensive proxy fight in history, an independent firm’s count of the 2 billion votes that were cast found Mr. Peltz had 42,780 more votes than a P&G director, the company said. That is a margin of 0.0016% of the shares outstanding.
Mr. Peltz quickly claimed a victory Wednesday and called on P&G to concede the contest and let him into its boardroom. But the Cincinnati company didn’t admit defeat, saying Mr. Peltz “is leading” but that the tally was still preliminary and subject to review and a challenge period.
“Both parties will have the opportunity to review the results for any discrepancies,” P&G said.
Alexander Coolidge of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the company hinted at a legal battle:
P&G said the independent inspector, IVS Associates of Wilmington, Delaware, still needed to produce final certified results – which could take weeks longer.
“The results are still preliminary and are subject to a review and challenge period during which both parties will have the opportunity to review the results for any discrepancies,” P&G said.
P&G’s stock jumped as high as $91.25, an increase of 3.4 percent, in after-market trading as the prospect of Peltz-induced cost-cutting was placed back on the table.
The maker of Tide detergent and Pampers diapers employs 10,000 workers in Greater Cincinnati and 95,000 worldwide.
Liz Moyer of CNBC.com reported that Peltz would push the company for changes regardless of the outcome:
At the time of the shareholder meeting, Peltz said regardless of the outcome he would continue to push the company to follow his suggestions to streamline operations.Trian owns $3.5 billion shares of P&G. In a statement, the fund company said, “Trian strongly urges P&G to accept the Inspector’s tabulation and not waste further time and shareholder money contesting the outcome of the Annual Meeting.”
Trian added, “Nelson Peltz looks forward to working collaboratively in the boardroom with the other members of the Board and management team to revitalize P&G.