Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) President and CEO Wayne Pacelle is in the hunt for a seat on the board of directors of Tyson Foods Inc., with the full support and advice of corporate raider/investor Carl Icahn.
Pacelle says the goal of joining the board of the Springdale, Ark.-based processor is to convince Tyson to set a timetable for phasing out the use of gestation stalls throughout its pork processing operation. He notes that such Tyson competitors as Smithfield Foods Inc. has already set 2017 to complete its transition away from the stalls in its company-owned facilities, similar to plans announced by Hormel Corp. Cargill Inc. has been gestation stall-free for five years, according to Pacelle.
Aiding Pacelle in his Tyson board effort is famed corporate investor Icahn, who is known for joining corporate boards in support of shareholder rights. He’s also used his stakes to influence the direction of such companies as XO Communications, Mylan Laboratories, Time Warner Inc. and Mentor Graphics, among others. He has also sparked or helped to scuttle several high-profile mergers and acquisitions in his decades-long career as an investor.
Icahn says he supports the HSUS position on gestation stalls, adding in a statement that “a fresh voice on the Tyson board would be good for the company.” He adds that he hopes enough shareholders will elect Pacelle to the board or that Tyson’s current management puts him on the board without what he calls “the cost or inconvenience of a proxy fight.”
Tyson elected seven people to its board at its last annual shareholder meeting in February and left the seat of the late Don Tyson unfilled.
The company posted a statement in response to Pacelle's announcement: "We’re not surprised Wayne Pacelle wants to sit on our board. We’re handling the nomination according to the law and our company’s by-laws. We’re committed to humane animal treatment and expect the same from the independent family farmers who supply us with chickens, hogs and cattle."
To read the SEC filing, click here
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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