It’s crunch time in Procter & Gamble fight

It’s crunch time for Procter & Gamble shareholders — and perhaps for Procter & Gamble itself.

The Cincinnati-based consumer goods powerhouse and local employer is trying to hold off a proxy battle from New York-based investor Nelson Peltz.

Nelson Peltz, the head of Trian Fund Management, argues P&G needs fresh leadership. He says the company suffers from “aging brands and a lack of break-through innovation,” all while suffering from “suffocating bureaucracy and excessive costs which create structural drags on the business.”

P&G is fighting back, urging shareholders to vote to keep him off the company’s board of directors. CNN Money reported that the company will spend at least $35 million in advertising against Peltz. (A P&G spokeswoman confirmed the number.)

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“P&G is a profoundly different, much stronger, more profitable company than we were just a few years ago,” P&G said in a statement released Tuesday. “The changes we have made are broad-based and (are) delivering results.”

P&G says it has cut excess brands and delivered $135 billion to shareholders over the past 10 years in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

But Peltz apparently has recently picked up some key allies, saying in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing that shareholder advisory firms ISS, Glass Lewis and Egan-Jones have recommended “adding Nelson Peltz to the P&G Board is in the best interest of all shareholders.”

To win this boardroom battle, P&G urges shareholders to “vote blue,” approving a blue proxy card or blue voting form for 11 approved nominees.

Several key vote deadlines are fast approaching.

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If you’re a P&G employee, your first deadline is almost upon you. If you own company shares in a P&G employee plan, the company says those cannot be voted at the annual meeting next week. These shares must be voted by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow — Wednesday.

The other deadlines offer a bit more breathing room — but not much.

If you hold shares through a bank or brokerage firm, your votes should be received at your bank or brokerage no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, the company says.

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The company’s annual shareholder meeting is 9 a.m. Tuesday at P&G’s corporate offices in downtown Cincinnati. If you plan to attend, you must be a P&G shareholder as of Aug. 11.

While P&G is a global company, with about 95,000 employees total, it’s also a local employer.

P&G has about 11,000 Ohio employees, with about 10,000 employees in the Cincinnati area and about 3,400 in downtown Cincinnati.

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The company has a business center in Mason, with more than 1,500 mostly research and development workers. A 1.7 million-square-foot distribution center for P&G products opened near the Dayton International Airport in 2015.

More than a third of P&G’s products moves through that distribution facility, with the help of a third-party supply chain manager, Exel.

Supply chain company DHL has about 520 employees at the site; Impact has about 100; P&G has about 140 there. There are about 760 workers total at the Union distribution center, P&G said.

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