David A. Grogan | CNBC
Disney ripped Nelson Peltz and his bid for a board seat Tuesday, because the leisure large’s proxy battle with the investor and his activist agency, Trian Fund Management, takes form.
Disney mentioned in a securities submitting Tuesday that its board was the place it wanted to be to maneuver the corporate ahead. The firm additionally defended CEO Bob Iger’s previous acquisitions and mentioned Peltz did not have an understanding of Disney’s enterprise, lacked the abilities to drive shareholder worth and offered no technique.
“Peltz has no observe report in giant cap media or tech, no options to supply for the evolving media panorama,” Disney mentioned in an investor presentation launched Tuesday.
On Thursday, Peltz laid out his case for a proxy battle with Disney on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” after Trian filed a preliminary proxy assertion in search of a seat on the board.
Peltz raised points with how shareholder worth has eroded just lately and Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of Fox in 2019. Trian has additionally criticized what it known as poor company governance, together with failed succession planning and Disney’s lack of engagement with Trian in latest months.
A consultant for Trian declined to remark Tuesday.
Trian mentioned it owns about 9.4 million shares valued at roughly $900 million, which it gathered months in the past.
Disney preempted and opposed Trian on Wednesday when it introduced that Mark Parker, the chief chairman of Nike, would turn into the brand new chairman of the board.
In Tuesday’s submitting, the corporate defended the quite a few acquisitions closed underneath now-returned CEO Iger, together with Marvel and Lucasfilm, saying they enhanced the corporate’s worth for shareholders and had been transformative for the corporate.
Disney’s portfolio has meant it is usually led within the field workplace with Marvel movies and “Star Wars” installments. Those belongings have additionally supplied a lot of the content material for its marquee streaming service, Disney+.
As for its Fox acquisition, which Peltz took specific concern with in his presentation Thursday, Disney mentioned Fox has broadened its mental property portfolio additional and supplied the corporate with a “deep bench” of expertise, together with Dana Walden, who’s been considered a contender as the next leader of the corporate.
When Iger made his stunning return to Disney’s helm in November — changing his hand-picked successor, Bob Chapek, after a poor earnings report — he mentioned he would keep for less than two years to assist search for his subsequent successor. Newly appointed board chairman Parker will lead the method of discovering a brand new CEO, the corporate mentioned Wednesday.
Disney famous Tuesday that along with succession planning, it’s within the midst of a cost-cutting plan and prioritizing streaming profitability.
Disney’s inventory was rocky in 2022 because it got here out of the early days of the pandemic when film theaters and theme parks had been closed. Slowing streaming subscriber progress additionally weighed on media stocks previously yr.
Peltz mentioned on CNBC on Thursday he is been pushing for a board seat to get entry to inside numbers and inform different members if and after they’re lacking out on alternatives.
Disney on Tuesday contested a few of Peltz’s claims concerning the events’ conversations up to now.
The firm mentioned it had provided Peltz an information-sharing settlement, which means he would have met quarterly with each administration and the board, slightly than a board observer function, as Peltz had mentioned. Otherwise, Disney pointed to quite a few interactions between the corporate and Trian.
— CNBC’s David Faber contributed to this report.
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