After spending collectively an estimated $100 million in a costly proxy fight Proctor & Gamble and Trian have arrived at an accommodation.
As reported in The Wall Street Journal, after two independent vote recounts, Trian lost by 500,000 shares out of two billion cast.
Although P&G was the winner, it agreed to add Mr. Peltz of Trian to its board as of March 1st.
The questions to be posed:
- Why engage in a difficult proxy fight – win – then add your opponent to your board? The rational reported does not compute. Obviously, there has to be a significant reason for this turn-about – we outside observers may never know.
- With 40% of the stock in the hands of registered shareholders said to be P&G loyalists – long-time holders (retirees), employees, and others – what happened? Did they decide not to support management? Many doubt that. Where they not aware of the importance of their vote? How come? Was P&G unable to reach them? If so – why not?
The point to make for all of us – whether a large organization or medium to small in size –
"The Registered vote can, at times, be the deciding factor in whether you win or lose the battle."
Accordingly, we need to spend more time and attention cultivating that Retail Shareholder base and employing the proper solicitation techniques to obtain their attention -- and getting them to respond in this era of growing public apathy.
From Your Friends at Laurel Hill
Ref: Saturday/Sunday, The Wall street Journal, December 16 – 17, 2017