David A. Grogan | CNBC
The proxy battle between Disney and activist funding agency Trian Management LP is heating up forward of the corporate’s annual shareholder assembly.
Earlier in January Trian went public with its struggle for a seat on the board, taking issue with Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of Fox in 2019, board missteps within the succession planning course of and losses for shareholders.
On Thursday, Trian said in a filing that Disney shareholders ought to vote to take away Michael Froman from the board and replace him with Nelson Peltz.
“Trian Group believes Mr. Froman has no expertise as a public firm director exterior of Disney,” the agency mentioned in an announcement Thursday. “In distinction, Nelson Peltz has served on quite a few public firm boards over the past a number of years.”
Trian is arguing that Disney shareholders have misplaced out in worth over time due to “weak company governance.” The agency mentioned Disney misplaced greater than $120 billion of its market worth in 2022, earnings per share has declined 50% since 2018 and pointed to Disney eliminating its dividend in 2020.
Trian mentioned it holds about 9.4 million shares valued at roughly $1 billion, which it accrued months in the past.
A Disney spokesperson did not instantly reply to touch upon Thursday.
Last month, Disney shot back at Trian, defending CEO Bob Iger’s previous acquisitions. The firm additionally mentioned Peltz did not have an understanding of Disney’s enterprise and lacked the talents to drive shareholder worth whereas presenting no technique. Disney mentioned its board was the place it wanted to be.
“Peltz has no observe document in giant cap media or tech, no options to provide for the evolving media panorama,” Disney mentioned in an investor presentation launched Tuesday.
In a transfer to preempt and oppose Trian in January, Disney mentioned Mark Parker, the chief chairman of Nike, would turn out to be the brand new chairman of the board.
Froman, the vice chairman and president of strategic development at Mastercard, has served as a director on the board since 2018. He additionally served as U.S. Trade Representative underneath then-President Barack Obama.
Few members of Disney’s board have media expertise exterior of the Mouse House.
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