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Target shareholders reject Pershing Square proposal

Minneapolis – At its 2009 annual meeting of shareholders yesterday, Target Corp.’s shareholders re-elected to the board all four of its incumbent director nominees.
The directors were returned “by a comfortable margin,” the company noted. They are: Mary Dillon, Richard Kovacevich, George Tamke, and Solomon Trujillo.
The shareholders also approved a proposal to set the size of the board at 12 members. Ackman had proposed expanding the board to 13 and had nominated himself in the proxy battle along with four other candidates.
Target made the announcement after the meeting, “based on a preliminary vote count provided by its proxy solicitors.”
The decision closed a long battle sparked in late 2008 between Target and activist shareholder Bill Ackman, founder of Pershing Square Capital Management – which owns 7.8% stake in the retailer. The hedge fund manager wanted to seat several of its own candidates on the board – a move the retailer opposed.
“On behalf of Target’s board of directors and management team, we thank our shareholders for their overwhelming support throughout this process,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and ceo: “Today’s outcome demonstrates the confidence Target shareholders have in our board’s qualifications, diversity and experience to provide effective and independent oversight and direction to the company, contributing to the creation of one of the most recognized brands in the United States. We remain dedicated to serving the interests of all shareholders by sustaining Target’s competitive advantage, driving continued profitable growth and generating substantial shareholder value over time.”
IVS Associates, Inc., the independent inspector of elections, said it expects to issue a preliminary tabulation of the vote results in three to four weeks. Final results of the election will be announced once they are certified by the inspector.

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