CINCINNATI -- Hedge fund boss Nelson Peltz fell 6.2 million votes short of winning a board seat at Procter & Gamble and may seek a recount of last week's proxy contest.
Peltz won 973 million votes in last week's board election versus 979.2 million for the next-lowest candidate – a 0.3 percent margin separating the candidates vying for the 11th board seat.
Monday's figures are preliminary as the company's independent inspector of elections, Wilmington, Delaware-based IVS Associates, continues to count and confirm the results. P&G said it will issue an update at a later date once it receives IVS’s final certified report.
Peltz's firm, Trian Fund Management, has signaled it may pursue a closer, contested reviewing of the proxy ballots, a rare process called a "snake pit." First, the firm wants a closer look at the numbers as they get closer to officials certification.
“Trian continues to believe that the election is too close to call," the firm said in a Monday statement. "The preliminary voting results P&G filed today, and relied on to declare victory at the annual meeting, are based on estimates and incomplete information reported by the company’s proxy solicitors and were calculated without full visibility into the proxies submitted by Trian to the inspector."
P&G didn't elaborate much beyond its preliminary numbers.
"We’re going to respect the process and ensure all votes are counted," P&G spokesman Damon Jones said. "In the meantime, it’s back to business for us focusing on building great brands and creating value for shareholders."
Last week, Peltz said he thought the vote was "close to a dead heat" and signaled he wasn't convinced of the results.
The activist investor asked shareholders to elect him to the panel that oversees P&G's senior executives and strategy to advocate for a faster company turnaround. Peltz harshly criticized the company's sluggish results and corporate structure during the campaign.
During the contest, P&G said Peltz was late to the company's turnaround efforts and a sucessful restructuring is underway.