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Disney Readies For Intense Board Battle With Activist Investor Peltz

Disney Readies For Intense Board Battle With Activist Investor Peltz

Walt Disney is preparing for a challenging proxy battle. The activist investor Nelson Peltz has put forward himself and an ally for nomination to Disney’s board.

This marks his second effort this year to influence the company’s direction and decisions.

At this important stage for Disney, there’s a significant struggle ahead. It coincides with the company’s efforts to revive its creative brands. The officials are trying to make make its streaming service more profitable and seek collaborations for the digital evolution of ESPN.

Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, owning around $3 billion in Disney shares, withdrew a previous attempt for a board seat in February. This decision followed Disney’s comprehensive restructuring plan, which tackled the concerns raised by Peltz.

On Thursday, Trian put forward Peltz and former Disney Chief Financial Officer James “Jay” Rasulo as nominees.

Trian stated that as Disney’s biggest current shareholder, he can’t just watch as the current directors and their chosen replacements block essential changes.

They presented the reasons behind nominating their two independent director candidates.

Initially hinting at nominating up to four directors, Peltz reduced the count to two. This adjustment happened along with Disney’s bylaw modifications. Additionally, the company’s announced that they were appointing two new directors.

On Thursday, Disney’s stock price climbed by 1.1% to $93.94. While shares have risen by 8% in 2023, the broader S&P 500 index has surged by more than 20% during this period.

“Less concerned about the distraction” of the proxy war and “more concerned about the complexity of these challenges,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners.

 “There are numerous issues occurring simultaneously, all while undertaking the largest cost-cutting in the company’s history.” He added.

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.

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