Nelson Peltz got close to a billion votes in his fight for a Procter & Gamble board seat, preliminary results show.
While the numbers are still not certified by an independent inspector, and thus not official, P&G filed a statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday with details of the preliminary breakdown. Most of the P&G board appears to have been reelected, with around 1.9 billion votes each. Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico and a P&G board member, had 979.2 million votes, the document shows, and was also reelected.
Peltz had just under 973 million, according to the filing.
Shareholders voted Oct. 10 at P&G’s shareholder meeting as to whether or not they wanted Nelson Peltz, an activist investor and chief executive officer of Trian Fund Management, on the P&G board or not. Peltz started a proxy fight earlier in the year for the seat after talks with P&G executives did not lead to one. Trian owns about $3.5 billion in P&G stock.
The activist investor presented a potential reorganization plan for P&G into three different units, but maintained through the process that it had no intentions of breaking up the company or trying to oust P&G ceo David Taylor. Peltz said P&G has underperformed relative to peers, and is too bureaucratic. P&G has maintained that it has made progress in its transformation, which included the sale of most of its beauty business to Coty Inc. in 2016, and that it did not need to add Peltz to the board.
Peltz and Trian have contested the original count.
“Our numbers say it is as close to a dead heat as possible,” Peltz said after the preliminary results came out in an interview with CNBC. Trian also issued a statement, saying: “According to our proxy solicitors, today’s vote is too close to call and it will take more time to determine the outcome. We await the certified election results by the independent inspector of election. Trian is pleased with the support we have received from shareholders and all of the nation’s independent proxy advisory firms. We believe shareholders’ voices are being heard at P&G today, thanks to Trian’s involvement.”