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Kroger wins proxy fight against Carl Icahn

Activist billionaire withdraws board candidates
Kroger growth streak ends at 52 quarters
Posted at 1:37 PM, Jun 06, 2022

CINCINNATI — Activist investor Carl Icahn has dropped his proxy fight against the Kroger Co. after securing only 1% shareholder support in a similar contest at McDonald’s Inc.

“I was surprised and initially disheartened by the disappointing McDonald’s vote,” Icahn wrote in a June 6 letter to the shareholders of both companies. “It is clear that shareholders, even if they are concerned about the issues we highlighted, are not willing to change the board configuration if a company is performing well financially.”

Icahn was trying to elect two board members at each company to force faster reforms on the use of gestation crates in the pork processing industry. He also criticized Kroger’s pay practices and urged shareholders reject the company’s plan to add 46 million shares to its long-term incentive plan for executives.

“I congratulate the McDonald’s team on their victory in this proxy engagement and, after much contemplation, given the company’s financial position, I believe the same outcome will result at Kroger,” he wrote. “I have therefore decided to discontinue my proxy contest waged at the grocer and withdraw my nominees.”

Kroger issued a statement on Icahn’s withdrawal.

“As America’s grocer, we play a critical role in the future of food,” it said in part. “We will continue to engage with stakeholders and shareholders to inform our policies and ensure we are well positioned to achieve our goals.”