The longest-running and highest-profile activist of them all may be mounting a new proxy contest, the first over what might be considered an ESG issue.
[Carl Icahn appears to be preparing what could be his first foray into socially conscious investing with inspiration from an unlikely source: pigs.
According to the Journal, Icahn is reportedly targeting fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. with the threat of launching a proxy battle over the company’s use of pork products sourced from suppliers that use allegedly inhumane methods in raising their pigs.
Icahn has been quietly backing a campaign launched in 2012 to get McDonald’s to stop buying its pork from producers that keep pregnant pigs in crates by 2022. With the expiration date upon us, Icahn says the company has stopped the practice only superficially, devising workarounds and asking producers to remove pigs from the gestation crates only once it’s confirmed that they are pregnant.
Icahn has said the goal was to fully ban the use of crates. The campaign has been something of a passion project for Icahn, who, as the owner of three dogs and father of a vegetarian animal-rights activist daughter, says animals are “one of the things I feel really emotional about.”
His daughter, Michelle Icahn, persuaded him to become active with the Humane Society more than a decade ago, and he learned of the organization’s push to get McDonald’s to stop using the gestation crates. Icahn was recruited to get the company to pay attention to the Humane Society’s campaign, and the result was the company’s 2012 pledge.Agenda – Icahn Mulling Proxy Fight at McDonald’s Over … Pigs