Walt Disney Prevails In Proxy Battle Against Peltz

(RTTNews) - Walt Disney Inc. (DIS), the entertainment conglomerate, has thwarted activist investors Nelson Peltz and Ike Perlmutter's attempts to shake up the company's board. Shareholders have reelected the entire board, signaling a victory for Disney.

Peltz and former Marvel CEO Perlmutter were seeking seats on the board. The company said Wednesday at its annual shareholder meeting that the current Disney board will remain intact following a shareholder vote that gave the company's slate a win "by a substantial margin." About 75% of retail shareholders voted in favor of Disney's current board, according to reports.

The outcome ends a lengthy battle, reaffirming the board's decisions, including the reinstatement of CEO Bob Iger.

Peltz, representing Trian Partners, sought to remove two directors, Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman, citing persistent underperformance in share value, a flawed succession strategy, and substantial investments gone awry.

Lagomasino prevailed over Peltz by a substantial margin, with retail voters overwhelmingly supporting Disney, resulting in Iger securing 94% of the total vote. Another nominee from Trian, former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, faced an even greater defeat against Lagomasino.

Another separate activist group, Blackwells, also failed in its bid to secure board seats.

Disney's win will give the company's top management short-term relief, ending months of uncertainty and distraction for Iger and his team. However, the company now will be required to report results, particularly as the company struggles with the challenge of consumers migrating away from traditional cable packages toward unprofitable streaming services.

Notably, Disney's two largest shareholders, Vanguard and BlackRock, chose to support the management in the final stages leading up to the shareholders' meeting.

Disney had previously criticized Trian's proxy battle as disruptive and harmful, suggesting that Peltz's motives might be more about personal vanity than a genuine belief in Disney.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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