Activitst investor Nelson Peltz takes aim at Procter & Gamble

Billionaire American investor Nelson Peltz launched a broadside Monday aimed at consumer goods conglomerate Procter & Gamble, where he is seeking a board seat and pressing for billions in cost cuts.

Procter & Gamble, the US conglomerate that makes Tide laundry detergent among many other consumer goods, is facing down a battle from an activist investor demanding billions in cost cutting
Procter & Gamble, the US conglomerate that makes Tide laundry detergent among many other consumer goods, is facing down a battle from an activist investor demanding billions in cost cutting (GETTY/AFP)

Billionaire American investor Nelson Peltz launched a broadside Monday aimed at consumer goods conglomerate Procter & Gamble, where he is seeking a board seat and pressing for billions in cost cuts.

Peltz, an activist investor whose Trian Partners investment fund holds a $3.3 billion stake in the US producer of razors, laundry detergents, diapers and toothpaste, also wants the company to ward off threats to market share from smaller competitors.

Trian could wage a proxy fight at the company's next shareholder meeting if Peltz does not get his way, the firm suggested Monday in a statement.

The battle has spilled out into public after months of talks. And comes when the company already is more than half-way through a nine-year, $10 billion cost-cutting program.

Procter & Gamble has shed 24,000 workers, closed factories and ceased producing more than 100 brands to focus on its most profitable ones.

But sales have not taken off. Revenues fell one percent to $15.6 billion in the company's fiscal third quarter, which ended in March.

In a statement, Peltz said he had identified further areas for cost savings of as much as $13 billion.

"P&G must act with the greatest possible urgency to address the market share it is losing to both its peers and smaller local competitors," Trian Partners said in a statement.

But P&G said it was sticking with its current plan.

"The board is confident that the changes being made are producing results, and expresses complete support for the company's strategy, plans and management," the company said in a statement to AFP.