Procter & Gamble’s Count Shows How Close Proxy Vote Was


Now the corporate proxy fight with P.&G. — the biggest in history, with a total cost of at least $60 million — is likely to head into another stage that could take weeks to play out as the independent auditor pores over the votes of holders of more than 2.5 billion shares.

The results announced in P.&G.’s regulatory filing reflect what the company announced in its annual meeting in Cincinnati last week. The vote, according to the company, meant the re-election of 11 directors.

But the new figures show that Mr. Peltz lost to Ernesto Zedillo, a former president of Mexico, by a slim margin, which Trian said was negligible.

The battle between Procter & Gamble and Trian has been waged for months. The hedge fund, which also has significant stakes in H. J. Heinz and DuPont, has said it does not seek to oust board members or Procter & Gamble’s chief executive, David S. Taylor. But Trian, which has a $3.5 billion stake in Procter & Gamble, has said it seeks greater influence over a reorganization of the businesses lines.

In the last decade, Procter & Gamble’s total return — stock performance plus reinvested dividends — was around 77 percent. That is about half the returns for peers like Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive.

With a market capitalization of $235 billion and a line of products that includes familiar brands like Tide and Pampers, P.&G. has said it is already on the road to recovery as it resists Mr. Peltz’s efforts.

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