Disney is facing a proxy fight from activist investor Nelson Peltz

Aspiring investor Nelson Peltz wants a place Walt Disney’s The board said it wanted to “restore the magic” in the entertainment and media company.

Peltz’s Trion team filed a preliminary Proxy statement The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking a later designation on Thursday announcing their intentions Wednesday.

Beltz said in a Trian press release that Disney had lost its way in recent years, “a steady dividend-paying, high-free-cash-generating business that resulted in a rapid decline in its financial performance, rising to a low-earnings company. A weak free-cash-flow transition.”

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Nelson Peltz, founding partner of Trian Fund Management, speaks at the WSJD Live conference on October 25, 2016 in Laguna Beach, California. (Reuters/Mike Blake/Reuters Photos)

In a presentation to the securities filing, Terion noted that Disney’s total shareholder return “materially underperformed” the S&P 500 and proxy peers over one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods.

“We believe current investor sentiment toward Disney is low, reflecting the hard reality that Disney is a company in crisis and faces a number of challenges that are impacting the company’s investment prospects,” the presentation said.

Disney shares have fallen by more than a third in a year. The S&P 500 fell by half, just over 15%.

ticker Security Past change conversion %
DIS Walt Disney Co. 99.82 +3.50 +3.63%

“As a highly engaged shareholder on Disney’s board, my goal will be to work with Bob Iger and other directors to result in improved operational and financial performance, enhanced shareholder value and a robust succession planning process, positioning for sustainable growth over the long term,” he added.

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Disney’s answer

Disney Bob Iger

Trian Fund Management believes the Walt Disney Company has lost its way under current chairman Bob Iger. (Charlie Calle/Getty Images for Disney/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Disney announced Mark ParkerA member of the company’s board of directors for seven years and executive chairman of Nike, will be the new chairman of the board.

In the announcement, former board chair Susan E. Arnold said, “During his four decades at Nike, Mark has led one of the world’s most recognized consumer brands through various market evolutions and a successful CEO transition.”

“He is uniquely positioned to chair the Disney board during this transition,” he added.

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Tryon and the Disney connection

Magic Kingdom Disney World

Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. (Fox News Digital / Fox News)

Currently, Tryon owns approximately 9.4 million shares of Disney common stock, which is worth approximately $900 million.

Despite Disney’s significant advantages, recent stock price and operating performance have been disappointing, Terion said in a Jan. 11 release.

Despite the company’s recent decision to rehire Bob Iger as CEO, shares for the entertainment giant are currently trading at an eight-year low, Drian said.

The investor noted that adjusted earnings per share fell 50% from fiscal 2018.

The battle with Disney could be Beltz’s biggest proxy battle yet, after a fierce battle to get a seat on the board of Tide detergent maker P&G. During his more than three-year tenure on P&G’s board, the company’s stock price rose nearly 80%.

Disney has faced pressure from Third Point’s Daniel Loeb to spin off cable sports channel ESPN, revamp its board and buy Comcast’s stake in Hulu, which has 46 million subscribers.

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Walt Disney did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox Business.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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