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Aerojet investors end proxy fight with chairman by electing CEO's slate

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By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, June 30 (Reuters) - Aerojet Rocketdyne shareholders on Thursday elected the eight-person board slate headed by Chief Executive Officer Eileen Drake, the company said in a statement, ending one of the most bitterly fought proxy contests of the year.

Based on preliminary results, Drake's slate won more than 75% of the votes cast, with Drake herself winning more than 83% of the vote, the statement said. The eight-person slate nominated by Executive Chairman Warren Lichtenstein received roughly 25% of the vote.

The meeting was held earlier this morning and lasted only minutes, said people familiar with the event.

Drake and Lichtenstein, whose Steel Partners and affiliates own more than 5% of the U.S. rocket maker's stock, have been battling each other since the collapse of a planned $4.4 billion merger with Lockheed Martin Corp earlier this year.

"A difficult and costly fight has brought us to this point, but the time has come today to plot a positive path and work with all our shareholders, including Steel Partners, to maximize value," Drake said in a statement. She also thanked Lichtenstein and other departing board members for their service.

Evercore, Paul Hastings, Gibson Dunn, King & Spalding, Ballard Spahr, Richards Layton & Finger and DF King advised Drake. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Josie Kao)

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