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P&G Says Trian's Nelson Peltz Has Lost Bid for Board Seat; He Disagrees

"Activist investor Nelson Peltz narrowly lost his bid to win a board seat at Procter & Gamble Co.," confirms the Wall Street Journal (Oct. 11, Terlep, Benoit), "but his campaign isn't going away, promising to keep pressure on P&G to change." After waging a major proxy battle, P&G announced Tuesday a preliminary vote tally showed all 11 current board members had been re-elected without disclosing the count. "We will continue to respectfully engage with Nelson Peltz, whose input we value," remarked P&G Chief Executive David Taylor after receiving a standing ovation from shareholders at the company's headquarters. "The two sides spent at least $60 million and crisscrossed the country to win shareholder support," notes the newspaper. "But Mr. Peltz wasn't admitting defeat and said he disagreed with P&G's counting of the ballots." In fact, his Trian Fund Management stated that it would wait for the tally to be officially certified, which could take days or weeks. At the very least, the close vote promises to keep P&G on the spot to show its big brands can grow.

The Cincinnati Business Courier (Oct. 10, Coolidge) notes that the shareholders convened at P&G's downtown Cincinnati headquarters beginning at 9 a.m. "To win," the publication reports, "Peltz needed a groundswell of support from dissatisfied investors." Trian Fund Management owns a 1.5 percent stake in P&G, which is worth about $3.5 billion. Peltz and Trian are veterans of other proxy fights at DuPont and Heinz. But the fight with P&G ended up ranking as the largest in U.S. corporate history.

Indeed, with a market capitalization of $230 billion, P&G is the biggest company to have fought a proxy fight and one of a few companies larger than $50 billion. Peltz told