Shareholders reelect McDonald's directors, Icahn loses board battle

·1 min read

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) - Shareholders have reelected all of McDonald's Corp's directors, the company said on Thursday, ending a boardroom battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn who had sought to win two board seats and shine a spotlight on his campaign over animal welfare.

Preliminary tallies showed shareholders backed all 12 of McDonald's directors and that Icahn's two nominees received approximately 1% of the vote, the company said.

"McDonald’s shareholders value a Board of Directors with a breadth of experiences to advise the Brand on the multitude of issues that can impact the business on a daily basis," board chairman Enrique Hernandez, Jr. said in a statement.

Icahn, who has made a career out of pushing poor-performing companies to improve, owns roughly $50,000 worth of McDonald's stock, and nominated two candidates to push the company to make good on a decade-old promise to stop buying pork by the end of this year from suppliers that house the animals in crates.

He has said confining the pigs in crates during their pregnancy is inhumane and sought to shine a spotlight on the practice more broadly.

McDonald's said on Thursday that it is committed to remaining a leader on environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, including animal welfare.

Icahn had appealed to large index funds that often pay more attention to ESG issues to back him in his bid to win the board seats, but preliminary tallies showed that BlackRock supported McDonald's.

A representative for Icahn had no comment.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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