Disney Responds to Peltz, Says Perlmutter Has Vendetta Against Iger newsbhunt


After activist investor Nelson Peltz announced his intention to renew his proxy battle to secure seats on Disney‘s board, the company responded by alleging former Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter — who is in league with Peltz’s Trian Fund Management — has a personal grudge against Disney chief Bob Iger.

In a statement responding to Trian’s announcement, Disney said that Perlmutter “was terminated from his employment by Disney earlier this year and has voiced his longstanding personal agenda against Disney’s CEO, Robert A. Iger, which may be different than that of all other shareholders.”

Disney noted that Perlmutter owns 78% of the shares that Peltz’s Trian claims beneficial ownership of, and said, “This dynamic is relevant to assessing Mr. Peltz and any other nominees he may put forth as directors.”

Disney said in the statement, “The Walt Disney Company has a proven track record of delivering long-term value to our shareholders and is in the midst of a significant transformation to reinforce our position as the world’s preeminent entertainment company.” It reiterated that Disney is on track to achieve about $7.5 billion in cost savings, $2 billion more than its original target.

The announced intention by Trian to launch a proxy fight to get its directors on the board comes a day after Disney named Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and former Sky chief Jeremy Darroch as new directors.

Disney’s statement also said the appointments of Gorman and Darroch as new board directors, which were “the result of a lengthy and comprehensive search that began in April of this year,” reflect “Disney’s commitment to a strong board focused on the long-term performance of the company, strategic growth initiatives, the succession planning process, and increasing shareholder value.”

“Disney is moving from a period of fixing to a new era of building, as the entire media sector navigates the crosscurrents of the competitive landscape for streaming,” the company’s statement said.

Disney cited “four key building opportunities that will be central to our success”: achieving significant and sustained profitability in our streaming business; building ESPN into the preeminent digital sports platform; improving the output and economics of our film studios; and turbocharging growth in our Experiences business.

“With one of the strongest balance sheets in the media sector, Disney expects free cash flow to approach pre-COVID levels in fiscal 2024, and the board and management are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring The Walt Disney Company’s long-term success for the benefit of all our shareholders,” the company said.


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