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Carl Icahn Drops Proxy Fight Over Pig Treatment at Kroger

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(Bloomberg) -- Carl Icahn ended a proxy fight focused on the treatment of pregnant pigs at grocery-chain Kroger Co. after losing a similar battle with McDonald’s Corp. last month.

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The activist investor told shareholders of both companies on Monday that he was conceding the fight at Kroger, saying that he expects the same outcome there as at McDonald’s due to the grocer’s financial position.

The dispute revolves around the practice of keeping sows in individual pens so small that they can’t lie down or turn around. Icahn had sought to nominate board members to McDonald’s and Kroger as a way to force their pork suppliers to end the practice. His McDonald’s nominees lost in a shareholder vote last month.

Still, Icahn said he doesn’t believe the companies’ boards are holding management accountable for their treatment of animals and employees.

It is “unconscionable” that it will take an average employee at the companies multiple years to make what their chief executive officers earn in one day, according to the statement to shareholders, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

A Kroger spokesperson said in a statement that the company “will continue to engage with stakeholders and shareholders to inform our policies and ensure we are well-positioned to achieve our goals.”

(Updates with Icahn confirmation in first and second paragraphs.)

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