One board seat, one epic battle.
In the the culmination of the largest-ever proxy fight, Procter & Gamble will find out Tuesday if shareholders want to give Nelson Peltz a seat on the board of the owner of Bounty and Tide.
It’s a fight that has cost millions and at times turned personal, pitting former colleagues against each other.
P&G, which has a market capitalization of about $235 billion, has enlisted the help of four banks: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Centerview and Lazard, as well as its former chief executive, A.G. Lafley, to support its cause. One estimate says it has spent $60 million to that end.
The investor, meanwhile, has written a 94-page white paper and recruited P&G’s former CFO, Clayton Daley.
Both have reached out to the company’s large retail shareholder base by email, paper mail, Twitter and Facebook. P&G, which is using a “Vote Blue” slogan for the campaign, created a website in P&G’s trademarked color. Trian has created its own website, “RevitalizePG.com,” in blue a shade darker.
The public battle has been brewing since February, when Trian revealed a roughly $3.5 billion stake in the company. And in July, Trian nominated Peltz to P&G’s board of directors. All three proxy advisories — Egan-Jones, Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services — are recommending putting Peltz on the board.