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March 12 (Reuters) - Activist investor Nelson Peltz told CNBC on Thursday that he was willing to accept two seats on DuPont’s board, including one for himself, which is double the number the chemical conglomerate is willing to give his hedge fund.
Peltz and Trian Fund Management LP, engaged in a proxy battle with DuPont for the past six months, also want to nominate two people to the board of Chemours, a unit that the company is looking to spin off later this year.
The hedge fund had earlier said it wanted to nominate four members, including Peltz, to DuPont’s board. But DuPont has offered Trian only one board seat.
“I said that didn’t work then, it’s not working now,” Peltz told CNBC on Thursday. Trian holds 24.6 million shares in DuPont.
DuPont said in February that Trian had refused to consider any proposal that did not include Peltz himself joining the board.
Separately, Trian also sent a letter to DuPont’s board on Thursday saying the company’s recent communication with its shareholders incorrectly suggests that the hedge fund will not work well with DuPont’s board.
Trian has been urging DuPont to split its volatile materials business from the rest of the company, an offer DuPont has repeatedly rejected by highlighting the benefits of keeping its units together.
The hedge fund later softened its view and said it was “open-minded” about keeping DuPont together.
In November, rival Dow Chemical Co averted a proxy fight with Dan Loeb’s hedge fund, Third Point LLC, by agreeing to add four independent directors to its board.
DuPont’s shares were up 0.5 percent at a 17-year high of $79.72 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has gained 7 percent this year. (Reporting by Sneha Banerjee and Anannya Pramanick in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)