After the most expensive proxy fight in history, it appears that Nelson Peltz has narrowly won a seat on the board of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G). According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, “The two sides spent at least $60 million and crisscrossed the country for weeks to win shareholder support.” A previous Ticker report focused on the tactics used by both sides of this historic contest and predicted P&G to prevail against the activist.
In a Form 8-K filed by P&G just days after its October 10 annual meeting, the company announced preliminary voting results showing each of its 11 board nominees edging out Peltz by 6.15 million votes. However, in what The Wall Street Journal calls an “embarrassing turn of events,” P&G disclosed on November 15 that an official tally by the independent inspector of elections shows Peltz leading one of the company’s 11 board nominees “by a margin of approximately 0.0016 percent of shares outstanding or approximately 42,780 shares.”
P&G’s press release notes that the independent inspector’s tabulations “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.” Peltz’s Trian Partners issued its own press release on November 15, strongly urging P&G “to accept the inspector’s tabulation and not waste further time and shareholder money contesting the outcome of the Annual Meeting.” P&G has not yet officially admitted defeat.