updated 9/8/2006 2:02:37 PM ET 2006-09-08T18:02:37

Corporate activist Nelson Peltz and another dissident investor who campaigned for deeper cost-cutting and other changes at H.J. Heinz Co. appear to have won seats on the famed ketchup maker’s board, according to preliminary voting results released Friday.

Heinz said initial results showed Peltz and his ally Michael F. Weinstein won seats on the 12-member Heinz board along with 10 of the dozen people nominated by the company following a months-long battle over how to kick-start the company’s lagging stock price.

Peltz and his Trian Group — Heinz’s second largest shareholder — have pushed for dramatic cost-cutting measures and increased investment in Heinz brands which also include Ore-Ida and Weight Watchers Smart Ones.

But Heinz says Trian’s approach would cripple the company and said it had already made changes that were about to lead to faster growth.

The results come less than a month after the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Aug. 16 where Peltz and his partners tried to secure a five-seat voting bloc on the board.

“We are confident that the board of directors will support the company’s plan to enhance shareholder value and drive our business momentum,” said Michael Mullen, a Heinz spokesman. He noted that the company last week reported a 23 percent jump in fiscal first-quarter profit.

Heinz remains on track to achieve 10 percent earnings growth for the year, Mullen said.

Trian said the preliminary results were “a big victory for all Heinz shareholders.”

“There is clearly a desire for positive change at Heinz, and we are gratified by the apparent election of Nelson Peltz and Michael F. Weinstein to the board, and the mandate shareholders have given us to help reinvigorate Heinz and unlock the full value of its iconic brands,” it said in a statement.

The final voting results are expected to be certified Sept. 15, according to Heinz.

Heinz shares fell in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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