Veteran corporate raider Nelson Peltz, who once besieged British chocolate maker Cadbury, lost a bitter boardroom battle for control of a US chemicals giant yesterday – his first defeat in a decade.
Peltz, 74, lost a shareholder vote on his plans to overhaul the board of DuPont, a two century old company with offices in the UK.
The father of 10 had wanted to replace four members of the DuPont’s 12 man board with three of his own nominees and himself – but shareholders rejected the plan.
The vote is a significant victory for DuPont, which resisted a chance to settle with Peltz by taking the battle down to the wire with a proxy vote.
It is the first time Peltz’s activist company, Trian, has lost a vote during its 10-year history.
It has achieved numerous scalps since its formation, including victories at Cadbury-Schweppes, HJ Heinz, Wendy’s burger chain, and Family Dollar.
“Trian’s involvement in DuPont over the past two years has created substantial value for all stockholders. We are proud of the quality of our analysis and the role we have played as a positive change agent at DuPont,” the company said in a statement.
Peltz had said DuPont would be more valuable if it split up its businesses.
“Our board and management value the open dialogue and input we have received from our shareholders, and we look forward to continuing to execute our strategic plan…”, Dupont boss Ellen Kullman said.