Disney heirs Take on Activist investors

In a plot reminiscent of a classic Disney movie, the descendants of Walt and Roy Disney, the founders of the company in 1923, have united against Nelson Peltz, an activist investor engaged in a proxy battle for board seats. The nine heirs, including Abigail E. Disney, who has been critical of Disney’s CEO, Robert A. Iger, have publicly backed Iger and the current Disney board.

Roy P. Disney, 66, emphasised the need to defeat these activists, accusing them of seeking profit at the expense of Disney’s essence. In response, a spokesperson for Trian Partners, Peltz’s investment firm, expressed admiration for Disney’s legacy but highlighted their commitment to enhancing long-term growth.

The Disney heirs, including Abigail, Susan Disney Lord, and Tim Disney, penned a letter denouncing Peltz and his allies as “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” urging shareholders to support Iger’s strategy. Abigail Disney, known for her documentary on pay inequality at Disney, underscored her disagreements with Iger but emphasised Peltz as a greater threat to the company.

Peltz, 81, who is campaigning for two Board seats, aligns with Ike Perlmutter, a former Disney executive and major shareholder. Their efforts, driven by desires to boost Disney’s stock and address leadership concerns, have sparked a contentious battle with Disney’s management. Despite Disney’s recent positive financial reports and strategic partnerships, the conflict persists, reflecting divergent visions for the company’s future.


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