Disney Threw Down the Gauntlet: The Board of Directors Strikes Back
In a statement to shareholders today, Disney threw down the gauntlet at Nelson Peltz, his son Matthew Peltz, and activist Trian Group. In recent months, Peltz and the Trian Group have been campaigning for shareholders to replace a longtime board member to “restore the magic.” Disney is firing back that Peltz lacks experience and perspective, may have ulterior motives, and is an all-around evil villain.
Peltz claims that Disney is at an 8-year low, despite recent stock prices rising, (up 3.5% for the day at time of publication to $113+/share). In a letter to shareholders today, the Trian Group is asking shareholders to replace Michael Froman with Peltz. He might think Disney is in a slump, but between 2005 and 2020, Disney generated a 554% shareholder return (compared to only 244% for the S&P).
Between 2020 and 2022, yeah, there’s been a slump, but whatever for? It’s not like there was a global pandemic that forced theme park closures for months on end…
In an SEC filing published 1/17/23, Disney said that “Nelson Peltz does not understand Disney’s businesses and lacks the skills and experience to assist the board in delivering shareholder value in a rapidly shifting media ecosystem.”
But now, things are heating up even more. Disney released a press release titled The Walt Disney Company Underscores Board Strength And Focus On Value Creation. The board recognizes that the media landscape is in flux right now. Disney sites that Froman’s background in global trade and international business make him “far better qualified” that either Peltz boy.
To be honest, we’re a bit confused at Peltz attack on Froman because he’s one of the Board’s most accredited directors. He’s not only a successful businessman, but also served as the US Trade Representative from 2013-2017 under Obama. No small task.
If this is all making your head itch, there are several recent MickeyBlog articles by David Mumpower that help explain the Theme Park Soap Opera taking place before our eyes.
You can read more about how The Walt Disney Company really feels about Peltz, the Trian Group, and their hard core man crush on Michael Froman as they campaign for him to remain on the Disney board in their recent press release here. In all seriousness though, Disney threw down the gauntlet.
In the statement, they shared a letter that will be sent to all Disney shareholders including this nugget of gold:
Your Board does not endorse Mr. Peltz (or his son) as a nominee and believes that his election would threaten our efforts to manage Disney for all shareholders. Over more than six months of engagement with Mr. Peltz, in both conversations and written materials, he has demonstrated that he does not understand Disney’s businesses and he lacks the perspective and experience to contribute to the objective of delivering shareholder value in a rapidly shifting media ecosystem.
Shareholders will have an opportunity to vote for the board of directors up for re-election. The Board is encouraging shareholders to vote with the WHITE proxy card (not blue!) to elect the board-recommended candidates at the upcoming annual meeting.
Your MickeyBlog crew tends to side with Disney here. They have proven over the last 100 Years of Wonder that they can make magic and money. If you’re a shareholder, please take some time to read Disney’s voting information when you receive it.
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