Disney’s Bob Iger Wins Proxy Battle As Board Defeats Nelson Peltz

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Iger vs. Peltz

Credit: ITM

In a stunning announcement on CNBC, Trian’s Investment Fund’s managing partner Nelson Peltz tells CNBC his Disney “proxy war” is over.

walt disney company headquarters
Credit: Disney

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Nelson Peltz officially declared the proxy fight between his firm, Trian Fund Management, and Disney was over on Thursday following the company’s announced restructuring.

“Now Disney plans to do everything we wanted them to do,” Peltz said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Thursday. “We wish the best to Bob [Iger], this management team, and the Board. We will be watching. We will be rooting.”

“The proxy fight is over,” Peltz said. Earlier in January of this year, Trian launched a proxy fight with Disney, pushing for Peltz to gain a seat on the Board. The activist firm said it owned about 9.4 million shares valued at roughly $900 million, which it first accumulated a few months prior.

Peltz had been very critical of Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of Fox in 2019 and failed succession planning. He had also called out “weak corporate governance” over the years that has eroded shareholder value.

Disney disclosed last month that it was facing a proxy fight from activist investor Nelson Peltz and his fund Trian Partners. Trian has nominated Peltz to serve on the Board.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle

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At that time, the company released a statement stating, “The Walt Disney Company remains open to constructive engagement and ideas that help drive shareholder value. While senior leadership of The Walt Disney Company and its Board of Directors have engaged with Mr. Peltz numerous times over the last few months, the Board does not endorse the Trian Group nominee and recommends that shareholders not support its nominee and instead vote FOR all the company’s nominees.”

What initially made this proxy fight interesting is that according to reports, Nelson Peltz, who is famous for corporate activism (or as others may describe as corporate raiding) and helping companies in an intimate style of active management, was reportedly not in the view that recently appointed CEO Bob Iger should be back in control of the company.

Do you think Bob Iger can get Disney’s stock moving in the right direction this year? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below.

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