Initial results show Nelson Peltz has been thwarted by the $236 billion maker of Tide and Crest in the largest proxy battle in history

Nelson Peltz.

Nelson Peltz.
Thomson Reuters

Nelson Peltz has been thwarted in the largest proxy battle in history, failing to claim a seat on the board of the $236 billion giant Procter & Gamble.

Preliminary results on Tuesday showed that Peltz, the founder of the $14 billion hedge fund Trian Partners, lost the proxy fight by a slim margin against P&G, the maker of consumer products like Tide, Crest, and Bounty and the largest-ever company to face such a challenge.

Trian quickly announced its disagreement with the vote count by P&G, which is led by CEO David Taylor and is calling for a recount.

“If anything, its plus or minus 1% – we need to really count it and understand it,” Peltz said in an interview on CNBC.

The billionaire investor has been trying to shake up P&G since announcing a $3.5 billion stake in February. He was nominated to the board in July.

The two companies have spent some $100 million on the campaign to win over shareholders, 40% of which are individual retail investors, according to Reuters.

Peltz was considered a favorite to win one of the 11 board seats up for a vote since he had the backing of the three top shareholder advisory firms that recommend how mutual funds cast their vote, according to Reuters.

In the CNBC interview, Peltz said P&G should still put him on the board, given the mass of outside shareholders that favored Trian’s bid.

“The dissatisfaction on behalf of the retirees and the old-time shareholders was amazing,” Peltz said.

“No matter what happens, I think [Taylor] should put me on the board,” Peltz continued. “Even if they do win, think about what a Pyrrhic victory it is.”

This story is developing.