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2 Dissidents Win Heinz Seats

September 09, 2006|From the Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Dissident investor Nelson Peltz and an ally appear to have won two seats on the H.J. Heinz Co. board after campaigning for deeper cost cuts and other changes that they say would invigorate the performance of the ketchup and food maker.

Heinz said Friday that initial results showed Peltz and Michael F. Weinstein won seats on the 12-member board -- along with 10 of the dozen people nominated by the company -- following a months-long battle over how to lift the company's stock price.

Peltz and his investment firm, Trian Fund Management, collectively Heinz's second-largest shareholder, had hoped to win five board seats and pushed for steep cost cuts and increased investment in Heinz brands after they began accumulating shares in February.

The Pittsburgh-based company rejected Trian's approach as too aggressive, saying the investment firm's proposal to cut annual costs by $575 million and reduce retailer-related expenses by at least $300 million would cripple the company.

Heinz shares fell 33 cents to $41.74.

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