(Rewrites with details of vote, background)
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Vibhuti Sharma
Nov 15 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund manager Nelson Peltz claimed victory in his fight to win a seat on Procter & Gamble Co’s board after a preliminary tally of votes was released on Wednesday, but P&G refused to concede and said it wants to see a certified result before declaring a winner.
Shares of P&G, the world’s largest consumer products maker by market value, rose more than 3 percent in after-hours trading, indicating that some investors welcome Peltz’s effort to shake up the company’s management and improve financial results.
A new preliminary vote tally prepared by independent election inspector IVS Associates after four weeks of recounting from last month’s proxy contest showed that Peltz won by 43,000 shares voted out of 2.6 billion, according to a source.
That leaves Peltz with a margin of victory of 0.002 percent of outstanding shares, which analysts said is so slim that it could easily flip again.
P&G said in a statement that the results are still preliminary and “subject to a review and challenge period.”
P&G and Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, which has a $3.5 billion stake in the company, now both have the chance to recount the votes themselves and challenge the outcome, which means a resolution could still be weeks away.
The recount tally is an embarrassing setback for P&G after the company claimed a narrow victory in last month’s vote. It is the latest twist in the largest proxy battle in history, in which the two sides collectively spent more than an estimated $100 million on mailings, phone calls and advertisements to woo investors.
Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Bill Rigby