Martin Franklin, who sold his company to Newell, is now waging a battle against the Newell board

Key Points
  • Martin Franklin is teaming with Starboard Value to push for the ouster of Newell's board and CEO
  • Franklin was chairman of Jarden Corp, which sold to Newell a little over a year ago
  • He resigned from Newell's board last month
In this March 23, 2011 photo, Jarden Corp. Chairman and CEO Martin Franklin speaks during an event in New York.
Jonathan Fickies | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After selling his company to Newell Brands a little over a year ago, Martin Franklin wants to take back control.

Martin Franklin is teaming up with activist investor Starboard Value to launch a proxy fight to oust the entire Newell board, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC. Franklin, the former chairman of Jarden Corp, sold his company to the maker of Elmer's Glue for $13.22 billion in 2016.

Franklin and Starboard are working with two other former Jarden executives — former Jarden CEO Jim Lillie and Ian Ashken — in the proxy fight, the source said.

Franklin, Ashken and Domenico De Sole announced their resignations from the Newell board last month. The three had joined the board as part of the acquisition.

Franklin left the board because he felt limited in his ability to influence the company's strategy going forward, sources familiar with the situation previously told CNBC.

The sources requested anonymity because the information is confidential. Franklin and Newell declined to comment. Starboard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal first broke news of the proxy fight earlier on Thursday.

Franklin is an investor known for his acquisition vehicles like Jarden and frozen food-focused Nomad Foods.

When he sold Jarden to Newell, the two formed a vast consumer portfolio that spanned Elmer's Glue, Rubbermaid and Yankee Candle. At the time, investors questioned how difficult it would be to integrate such a broad portfolio.

Newell announced last month it plans to sell off at least 10 of its businesses, many of which it acquired through the Jarden acquisition. It is refocusing on nine core consumer businesses, which generate $11 billion in total net sales, roughly 82 percent of Newell's fiscal 2016 sales.