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