Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report) was active in pre-market trading after activist investor Nelson Peltz claimed victory in his battle to win a seat on the company's board even as its leaders vowed to review the results of a shareholder vote.
P&G shares were marked 1.7% higher from their Wednesday close in New York in premarket trading, indicating an opening price of $89.73 each, the highest since Oct. 20.
The consumer goods giant said late Wednesday that Peltz was leading Ernesto Zedillo in a director vote by a margin of approximately 0.0016% of shares outstanding or approximately 42,780 shares.
"The results are still preliminary and are subject to a review and challenge period during which both parties will have the opportunity to review the results for any discrepancies," P&G cautioned, adding it will disclose the final results in the coming weeks.
Preliminary results issued last month by P&G showed that Peltz had just under 50% of the vote, or roughly 49.8%. However, Peltz said he wasn't conceding defeat and that the results were "too close to call." He said he was waiting for the final result tabulations by IVS Associates Inc., P&G's inspector of elections.
Peltz said Wednesday that the independent inspector of elections has come to the conclusion, after reviewing the votes, that he actually won the election.
In a statement Peltz said Trian "greatly appreciates the support we have received, and we are gratified that the independent inspector's tabulation shows that shareholders have elected" him to the board.
"The Inspector's report represents an independent, careful tabulation of all proxies and ballots submitted to the Inspector by both P&G and Trian," Peltz said. "Trian strongly urges P&G to accept the Inspector's tabulation and not waste further time and shareholder money contesting the outcome of the annual meeting. Shareholders have voted, and they have indicated that they want Nelson Peltz to join the board."
The results, if accurate, represent a huge victory for Peltz in what was the largest boardroom battle in the history of U.S. proxy fights. Peltz has $3.5 billion in P&G shares.
--Ronald Orol contributed to this report.
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