Retailers, consumers and prices
William Ackman had already lost the battle to seat his slate of director nominees on the Target board last month, but the retailer released the final vote totals and the activist shareholder came up far short in trying to win investor support, garnering 19 percent of the votes cast. That topped the tally for three of his other four nominees.
The hedge fund director, whose Pershing Square Capital Management had a 7.8 percent stake in Target when votes were cast, launched his proxy contest in March to seat a slate of five director nominees after Target refused his proposal to spin off land under its stores into a real estate investment trust to boost its stock price.
Former Starbucks CEO James Donald, one of Ackman’s five nominees, garnered 22 percent of the vote, while the other three each won 8 percent. All four of Target’s incumbent director nominees received more than 70 percent.
Ackman garnered attention at the May meeting for a tearful appeal in which he invoked Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech in a final effort to win votes.
When an activist investor comes to town, it appears that Target security goes on high alert.
While Target had its shareholders, including hedge fund manager William Ackman, and the media fly to one of its yet-unfinished stores outside of Milwaukee to attend their annual meeting, it greeted them with a heavy security detail.
In one corner is retailer Target, one of America’s largest retailers, and in the other is activist investor William Ackman.
Check out the proxy battle royale going on at Target’s annual meeting in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Ackman, a hedge fund manager and activist investor, urged Target’s shareholders to vote down the discount retailer’s proposal to set its board size at 12 members and argued that his five nominees for the board, including Ackman himself, were better suited to serve in that capacity.
His letter is the latest action in the battle between Ackman and Target over boardroom seats at the retailer. Last month, Target said it was determined to re-elect four directors, prompting a letter from Ackman to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel contesting the board’s size.