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Heinz says preliminary results show dissident investors won board seats

PITTSBURGH - Food maker H.J. Heinz Co. said Friday that initial voting results showed two dissident investors, Nelson Peltz and Michael F. Weinstein, have been elected to its 12-member board of directors following a fierce proxy battle.

The dissidents from the Trian Group, an investor group led by Peltz, won the seats on the Pittsburgh-based company's board based on preliminary voting results provided by an independent agency, Heinz said in a statement.

Heinz said it expects the final vote will be certified on Sept. 15 unless a review takes longer than expected.

Trian nominated five candidates to the Heinz board earlier this year as part of a campaign to pressure the company into improving its performance and produce higher shareholder returns.

Heinz has faced criticism in recent years over its lagging stock price, and the two sides bickered for months about proposed turnaround strategies.