Procter & Gamble Faces Showdown With Activist Investor Peltz

The past 12 months alone have seen Third Point’s Daniel S. Loeb push for changes at Nestlé and Paul E. Singer’s Elliott Management take on Samsung and the mining giant BHP Billiton.

This is also not the first time Procter & Gamble has faced activist pressure: The billionaire William A. Ackman pushed the board to oust chief executive Robert A. McDonald in 2013, forcing Mr. McDonald’s predecessor, Alan G. Lafley, out of retirement and back as chief.

The consumer goods giant, whose products include Crest toothpaste and Gillette razors, has struggled in recent years to win over Wall Street analysts worried by increased competition and declining market share, particularly in the United States. The company has sought to markedly slim down, announcing in 2014 that it would cut around 100 brands.

“As a member of the board, Mr. Peltz would seek to help the company increase sales and profits, regain lost market share, and address the company’s structure and culture, and we believe that he can contribute far more value operating from within the company’s boardroom than by merely advising the company from the outside,” Trian wrote in its proxy materials.

The investment firm said it was not seeking to break up Procter & Gamble, a well-worn tactic of activists. Nor was it seeking to replace the company’s chief executive of less than two years, David S. Taylor.

Shares in Procter & Gamble were little changed in premarket trading in New York on Monday. The company carried a market valuation of nearly $224 billion.

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