Proxy Fights Aren’t Spelling Bees

Which is good news for Nelson Peltz—and bad news for Procter & Gamble.
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Ineligible for the National Spelling Bee, anyway. Getty Images

After almost five months of back-and-forths, and shortly after Trian Fund Management launched a proxy battle to get founder Nelson Peltz elected to the Procter & Gamble board of directors, the consumer-products giant’s CEO rather loftily dismissed the effort. For all the sound and fury, Trian and Peltz had no substantial plan to solve whatever it thinks P&G’s problems are, David Taylor said: Nothing that he hadn’t thought of first, certainly. Lots of people have good ideas, Taylor added, but that doesn’t mean he just turns around and puts them on the P&G board, even if they are the company’s sixth-largest shareholder and those ideas are basically Taylor’s, anyway.

This, you can imagine, did not sit well with Peltz. No substantial plan, you say? Here’s 93 pages worth, the nub of which is essentially splitting the company in three and making Taylor (or, more likely, his successor) a figurehead. And in case you were wondering, yes: Peltz still wants that board seat.

"I don't even know how to spell 'lose,'" he said in an interview on CNBC, responding to a question about his hedge fund's proxy fight to get a seat on the board of the consumer product giant.

This may be true; we do not have access to Peltz’s second-grade spelling tests. It would not, however, be true to say that Peltz doesn’t know how to lose.

P&G Told It Must Modernize as Peltz Escalates Board Fight [Bloomberg]
Peltz, defending P&G proxy fight, says he doesn’t know how to spell ‘lose’ [CNBC]