Trian Wants Peltz on P&G Board, Starts Public Proxy Fight
Trian Fund Management announced on Monday that it was seeking to have a seat on the board of directors at Proctor & Gamble for its CEO, as it is looking to push P&G to take more dramatic steps trying to revive sales and profit.
The announcement by Trian marks its official launch of its biggest ever proxy fight, with the activist investor up against a consumer products giant worth $222.6 billion.
This battle comes during a time activist investor supported by successful campaigns over the years for changes at companies throughout the U.S. as well as abroad, using their huge coffers to seek out larger prey.
Trian, which has a stake of $3.3 billion with P&G or 1.5%, urged P&G shareholders to vote for Nelson Peltz the co-founder and CEO of the activist investor at the upcoming company shareholder meeting, saying that his track record working with company managements to turn consumer companies around has been very successful.
The proxy filing, which was disclosed Monday, shows that the dialogue by Trian with P&G dates back to February 16, when Peltz made a call to CEO David Taylor to introduce himself and arrange a face to face meeting.
Following that was over five months of talks between Trian senior leaders and P&G regarding the company’s direction strategically and what it needed to boost a lagging share price.
However, during the course of those meetings, the two failed to come to any agreement that would avoid the current public fight.
In a prepared release Trian said that its attempt to get Peltz a spot on the board is due to the continued underperformance at P&G, complex bureaucracy and excessive costs
Following news of the fight between P&G and Trian, shares of the consumer products company increased slightly in early Monday trading.
With the annual meeting of P&G usually in October, both sides have approximately three months to keep discussing how to avoid a vote by shareholders on Peltz, who if he is elected would increase the members of the board to 12.
Avoiding such a fight will hinge for the most part on what other shareholders of P&G think will be best for the consumer products company.
P&G’s filing also noted that last week during a meeting between members of the board at P&G and Trian, that Trian said it would move forward with the campaign to have Peltz elected to the board because the company had not be moving quickly enough to improve overall performance.