Carl Icahn Dropping Proxy Fight Over Pig Treatment at Kroger

Carl Icahn is giving up a proxy fight focused on treating pregnant pigs at grocery chain Kroger Co.

KR -0.64%

after concluding, he is likely to lose in a similar fight at McDonald’s Corp.

MCD -0.26%

last month.

“I congratulate the McDonald’s team on their victory in this proxy engagement, and after much consideration, based on the company’s financial position, I believe Kroger will have a similar outcome,” he said in a statement. letter intended to be sent to Kroger and McDonald’s shareholders. was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

He writes that these campaigns are different from his typical fights because the two companies are doing well financially, which makes it less likely that these campaigns will receive adequate support. of shareholders. However, he said he did not believe their board was holding their management team accountable for the treatment of animals or the welfare of their employees.

At the heart of both campaigns are pregnancy crates used by companies’ pork suppliers to house pregnant pigs. Farmers argue that the small crates make livestock more efficient and safer, while Mr Icahn and his nominees say they are inhumane because the space is so small that the pigs cannot turn around. .

He also criticized the pay disparity at Kroger and McDonald’s between average workers and executives, arguing that their compensation policies contribute to productivity lag. This is a problem he regularly pays at a variety of companies.

“It is unconscionable that it takes the average employee at these companies years to earn what their CEO makes in a single day,” he wrote in the letter.

Mr. Icahn has nominated two directors to Kroger’s board, and the company’s shareholders will vote for them at its annual meeting on June 23. He owns shares in both Kroger and McDonald’s under 0.1%, which is also atypical for him and made them long campaigns in the first place.

Mr. Icahn’s two candidates for McDonald’s board failed in a shareholder vote at the end of May, winning only about 1% of the vote after failing to receive support from only funds. large numbers whose results the vote frequently affects.

Mr. Icahn writes that he will continue to focus on issues related to the treatment of animals and that his work has helped raise awareness. He points to changes other companies have made recently, including General Mills Inc.

and Denny are both aiming for non-pregnant pork.

Mr. Icahn, better known for his high-profile clashes with companies ranging from eBay Inc.

to Occidental Oil Corp.

first became involved in the matter about a decade ago at the behest of his daughter and the Humane Society of the United States.

Write letter for Cara Lombardo at

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