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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Heinz rebels win places on board
Heinz baked beans tin
Dissident investors have demanded sweeping changes at the food group
Rebel investors appear to have won seats on the board of Heinz, the US food giant has said.

Two Trian Group members, including hedge fund billionaire Nelson Peltz, have been elected to Heinz's 12 member board, an initial vote count showed.

Trian has long been critical of Heinz's performance, demanding increased cost cutting and sales.

Trian had nominated five candidates for the board in a bid to push Heinz to improve its performance.

Shake-up demand

In an effort to turnaround Heinz's recent poor performance Trian had demanded the group cut costs by $575m (308m), partly through reducing promotional costs.

Heinz attacked the plan calling it vague and unrealistic, but came back with proposals to cut costs by $355m over the next two years.

The results of the preliminary vote follow a bitter battle between the two sides that culminated in the vote at the food company's annual general meeting.

Mr Peltz and former Snapple Beverage chief Michael Weinstein look likely to have ousted incumbent directors Michael Coors and Mary Choski.

"I look forward to moving ahead constructively and working closely with the board to enhance shareholder value," Heinz chairman William Johnson said as the group announced the results of the preliminary vote.

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