OAN’s Abril Elfi
10:35 AM – Thursday, January 4, 2024
Disney has made an agreement with ValueAct Capital Management amid a proxy battle with Nelson Peltz, a billionaire businessman and investor.
On Wednesday, Walt Disney Co. said that they signed a confidentiality agreement with ValueAct that allows them to provide information to ValueAct and consult with it on strategic matters.
“ValueAct Capital has a track record of collaboration and cooperation with the companies it invests in, and its Co-CEO Mason Morfit has been very constructive in the conversations we’ve had over the past year. We welcome their input as long-term shareholders,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
Peltz’s investment management firm Trian Fund Management stated last month that it was planning to nominate the activist investor and a former chief financial officer (CFO) of Disney for seats on the media and entertainment company’s board.
Trian intends to propose choosing James Rasulo, the former CFO of Disney from 2010 to 2015, in addition to Peltz.
Rasulo was president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts from 2002 to 2005 and chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide from 2005 to 2009, before taking on the role of CFO.
At Disney’s anticipated spring 2024 annual shareholders meeting, Trian, which owns $3 billion worth of common stock in the company, plans to propose Peltz and Rasulo for appointment to the Disney board.
Disney has stated that as part of its process, its governance and nominating committee, which assesses director nominations, will examine the suggested Trian nominees and make a recommendation to the board.
On Wednesday, Dsiney also stated that it has been informed that Blackwells Capital intends to put forward three candidates for the board.
They continued, saying that similar to Peltz’s nominees, its governance and nominating committee will examine Blackwells’ suggested candidates and make a recommendation to the board.
Peltz and Disney have been engaged in a proxy war for almost a year. Peltz applied to join Disney’s board in January, insinuating that the company was having self-inflicted problems.
Disney named Mark Parker, a current board member, as its chairman at the time while urging shareholders to vote against Peltz.
In February, Peltz gave up on his pursuit of a Disney board seat only one day after CEO Bob Iger declared a significant reorganization of the business that would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
However, Trian made the decision to revive its proxy war in November and Disney defended the business and its board in a statement released at the time.
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