The proxy battle continues.
Procter & Gamble is set to make its case, again, against activist investor Nelson Peltz on Tuesday in a webcast aimed at answering shareholder questions. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. and board member Meg Whitman, chief executive officer David Taylor, and chief financial officer Jon Moeller, are set to answer questions that have been e-mailed in advance.
Both Procter & Gamble and activist investor Nelson Peltz have been filing flurries of documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, each trying to make the case why or why not Peltz should or should not get a board seat. Shareholders will vote on the issue Oct. 10 at the P&G shareholders’ meeting.
Peltz, who owns about $3.5 billion worth of P&G shares through Trian Investment Management, started the proxy battle for a board seat back in July. Trian has maintained that it has no intention of breaking up the company or ousting Taylor as ceo, and has suggested a different operating structure with three, stand-alone global business units — one for beauty, grooming and health care, one for fabric and home care, and one for baby, feminine and family care. Each of those segments would have regional leaders in charge of profit and loss. Trian is also advocating for P&G to acquire and grow small and midsize brands, and has publicly taken issue with some of the statements P&G has made during the proxy fight, saying there are a “significant number of material data errors, calculation errors and misrepresentations about Nelson Peltz’s track record.”
Trian has garnered support from Glass Lewis, Yacktman Asset Management, Institutional Shareholder Services and Egan-Jones. Former P&G ceo A.G. Lafley has come out in support of P&G.
P&G has maintained that it is already taking steps to improve its financial performance, and that it does not need Peltz on its board with a plan already in place. In a new filing Monday, P&G highlighted its plan and growth at core brands. Downy for example, has already posted more than $500 million in sales from its scent beads, which are growing at 30 percent. P&G also said Head & Shoulders is growing 5 percent annual, and that Old Spice has posted sales growth of more than 6 percent each year for the past five years.