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Nelson Peltz Drops Proxy Fight with Disney

Activist investor Nelson Peltz has dropped his proxy fight with The Walt Disney Company. A day after Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a new structure for the company. “The proxy fight is over,” said Peltz to Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.

“Now Disney plans to do everything we wanted them to do,” Peltz said. “We wish the very best to Bob [Iger], this management team and the board. We will be watching. We will be rooting.”

“We are pleased that our Board and management can remain focused without the distraction of a proxy contest, and we have tremendous faith in Bob Iger’s leadership and the transformative vision for Disney’s future he set forth yesterday,” Disney said in a statement. Recently they had sent an email out to shareholders encouraging them to vote against Peltz’ initiatives.

The proxy fight was launched in January by Peltz’ Trian Fund Management with the goal of getting Peltz or his son on Disney’s board of directors. Peltz was not happy with Disney purchasing Fox and also “weak corporate governance” and what he called an erosion of shareholder value. He backed away from this proxy fight on Thursday, a day after Disney announced cost cutting measures of $5.5 billion, the cutting of 7,000 jobs, and also the restructuring of the company into three main segments.

With the dropping of the proxy fight, this clears the way for a fairly straightforward annual shareholder meeting on April 13, 2023. During this meeting, among other agenda items, Mark Parker is to be appointed as the Chairman of the Board for Disney’s Board of Directors.

The annual shareholder meeting is on April 13 and is virtual.