Disney Faces Pressure from Activist Investor and Former Marvel Chairman

Walt Disney is facing renewed pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz and former Marvel Chairman Isaac Perlmutter, according to The Wall Street Journal. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, which already holds a stake of over $2.5 billion in Disney, is seeking multiple board seats at the company. The majority of Trian’s stake is controlled by Perlmutter, who plans to advocate for the acceptance of Trian’s nominees within Disney’s board. Perlmutter, one of Disney’s largest independent shareholders following the sale of Marvel in 2009, has expressed his belief that the company is underperforming. Disney has not yet commented on the matter.

Although Disney shares saw a 0.6% increase in premarket trading on Monday, they have declined by more than 8% this year. The nominating window for Disney’s board of directors opens in December, allowing Trian to potentially launch a fresh proxy battle against the company. Peltz had previously abandoned an attempt to join the board earlier this year when Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a cost-cutting plan involving significant layoffs.

Experts predict that Peltz will resume his proxy battle unless there are substantial changes at Disney, such as finding an external investor for ESPN or spinning off ABC and other linear TV channels. It remains to be seen whether Disney will make such announcements to satisfy Peltz’s demands.

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