Bill Ackman loses boardroom battle with America's 'sleeping' payroll giant

The bitter fight between billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman and American payroll giantADP has come to a head after investors voted against Mr Ackman's plan to shake-up the board.
Mr Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square, whichlisted on theLondon Stock Exchangein May, saidit wanted to add three candidates toADP's board after dubbing the company it has an 8pc stake ina "lethargic and inefficient sleeping giant"over the summer.
Shareholders put an end to the row today by re-electing all ten of ADP's current directors, with Pershing Square'sthree nominees including MrAckman himself each receivingless than 25pc of the required votes.
"This was an ass-whipping,"ADP chief executive Carlos Rodriguez told Reuters after the votes were counted on Tuesday, months after he calledthe hedge fund manager a "spoiled brat" in a television interview.
Bill Ackman loses boardroom battle with America's 'sleeping' payroll giant

Pershing admitted earlier this year that some good investmentshad been overshadowed by losses in several holdingsincludingweight-loss company Herbalife
Pershingwrote to itsinvestors immediately after the result claiming that even though the trio had not won any board seatsthe proxy battlehad been a "wake-up call"to the $50bn (?39bn) company and had helped lower risks.
"The fact that ADP needs a wake-up call is no surprise to its salesforce who every day is selling against competitors with better product offerings," Mr Ackman wrote.
He went on to slam theUSproxy election system "as it leaves much to be desired" adding that the firmwas greatly disadvantaged during the votefor this reason.
"Had there been a universal proxy card [...]I would likely have been elected," he said.
This will come as another blow to the activist investor, well known for shaking up large companies such as Wendy's, after a tough few years following bets on firms such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Herbalife.
The group admitted earlier this year thatsome good investmentsin the first half had been overshadowed by losses in several holdings.
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