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The Gulf Coast Sovereign Star

News from the Gulf Coast

Proxy Fight Escalates as Peltz Pushes for Board Seat, Disney Offers Information Access


Feb 8, 2023

February 8, 2023 – The ongoing proxy fight between Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Trian Fund Management, led by billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, reached a new level on Thursday as Disney sent a letter to shareholders clearly stating the board’s opposition to Mr. Peltz’s nomination. The letter marks the latest event in a battle over the addition of a Trian representative to Disney’s board of directors.

A proxy fight is a situation where an investor, in this case Trian, is pushing for change within a publicly traded company by gaining control of a sufficient number of shareholder votes, usually through the distribution of a proxy statement. The goal of the proxy fight is to influence the outcome of a shareholder vote and gain control of the company’s board of directors.

In the letter, Peltz outlined his reasons for seeking a seat on the board, pointing to the erosion of shareholder value and what he calls poor corporate governance within the company. He also criticized Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of Fox in 2019 and called for better succession planning within the company.

Disney, however, has offered Peltz a board observer role, which would provide him with access to the information he seeks, including internal numbers. The company says that Peltz would meet quarterly with both management and the board in this role. In a securities filing, Disney also defended CEO Bob Iger’s past acquisitions and said that Peltz lacked the understanding of the company’s business and the skills needed to drive shareholder value.

This proxy fight marks the latest in a series of battles between activist investors and corporations. The outcome of this particular battle will be closely watched by investors and industry experts, as it has the potential to set a precedent for future proxy fights.

The shareholder vote on the matter is expected to take place in the coming months.