Peltz-P&G proxy fight likely to cost $60M

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

The big­gest proxy fight in his­tory, pit­ting ac­tivist in­vestor Nel­son Peltz against Proc­ter & Gam­ble Co., will also be one of the most ex­pen­sive.

The two sides ex­pect to spend a com­bined $60 mil­lion on the con­test for a board seat at the Cincin­nati-based com­pany, ac­cord­ing to separate reg­u­la­tory fil­ings this week by Proc­ter & Gam­ble and Peltz’s Trian Fund Man­age­ment LP. Peltz es­ti­mated his firm will de­ploy $25 mil­lion to gain ac­cess to the con­sumer-prod­ucts com­pany’s board­room, while Proc­ter & Gam­ble said it bud­geted an ex­tra $35 mil­lion to keep him out.

The driv­ing force be­hind the high spend­ing will be reach­ing the mil­lions of in­di­vid­ual in­vestors who own Proc­ter & Gam­ble shares, said Tom Ball, a man­ag­ing direc­tor in the Stam­ford, Conn., of­fice of Mor­row So­dali, a proxy-so­lic­i­ta­tion firm. Peltz, 75, suf­fered his first-ever loss in an ac­tivist cam­paign in 2015, when he tried to get on the board at DuPont Co., an­other old-line com­pany that is widely held by mom-and-pop in­vestors.

The costs of a con­test typ­i­cally in­clude print­ing and mail­ing ma­te­ri­als to stock­hold­ers as well as re­im­burs­ing banks and bro­kers who for­ward the doc­u­ments to their clients. Dis­si­dents and tar­get com­pa­nies also face fees for con­sul­tants, lawyers, fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers and proxy-so­lic­i­ta­tion firms, as well as any advertising to sup­port their can­di­dates.

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