New York, US – Dispute has escalated between the major stockholder Trian Fund Management and DuPont after Trian on 11 Feb filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asking for the election of its nominees to the board of directors at the 2015 annual meeting of stakeholders.
Train CEO Nelson Peltz, John Myers, Arthur Winkleblack and Robert Zatta are the fund management’s nominees to DuPont.
Trian also issued a white paper analysing what it called “DuPont’s underperformance” and offered initiatives for DuPont to improve financial and operational performance.
The equity firm also voiced its previous demands for separation of DuPont’s businesses in order to improve value for stakeholders.
In response, DuPont issued a statement on the same day stating that Trian had refused to reach a resolution with the company.
“Our board and management team have attempted to engage constructively with Trian, including more than 20 conversations with the Trian team,” said DuPont.
“We recently reached out to Mr. Peltz in an effort to reach a resolution and avoid a costly and distracting proxy fight, the announcement said, adding that Peltz had refused “to even consider any path forward that did not involve Nelson Peltz himself being added personally to the DuPont board.”
The company then highlighted its achievements, saying it “delivered 266 percent in total shareholder returns during management's tenure through 2014, and have delivered 17 percent, 78 percent, and 160 percent over the last one-, three- and five-year periods.”
On Trian’s separation proposal, Dupont said that its management had “carefully considered Trian's proposals to break up the company and concluded that they are costly and high risk.”
In its annual meeting earlier on 5 Feb, DuPont appointed two new directors to its board, defying Peltz’s demand to elect of Trian’s nominees.