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May 26, 2024
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Disney wins support from hedge funds as it battles to stave off Nelson Peltz


The three individuals nominated by Blackwells Capital are WarnerBros Discovery executive Jessica Schell; Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff; and Leah Solivan, founder of online odd-jobs marketplace TaskRabbit.

The endorsement from ValueAct Capital, which manages more than $16bn (£13bn) on behalf of institutional investors, was secured as part of a confidentiality agreement announced by Disney on Wednesday. 

The deal will see Disney share information with ValueAct Capital and consult the investment firm on strategic matters through meetings with its board and management team. 

Mr Iger said the agreement follows “very constructive” conversations over the past year with Value Act Capital’s joint chief executive, Mason Morfit. 

Mr Morfit, who is married to actress and Fast and Furious star Jordana Brewster, said that ValueAct Capital believes Disney can lead the media industry as its transitions from legacy technologies to digital platforms.

The agreement with ValueAct Capital, which includes Microsoft, Rolls-Royce and Spotify among its investments, is not the first time that Disney has offered to share sensitive information with major shareholders. 

Disney reportedly offered an information sharing deal to Mr Peltz after denying the billionaire activist’s initial board seat request at the end of 2022. 

Mr Peltz rebuffed the offer which would have seen him meet quarterly with Disney’s board and management team, but did not provide voting rights.

A spokesman at Trian Fund Management said: “As Disney’s largest active shareholder, with an approximate $3bn beneficial ownership stake, Trian welcomes other shareholders attempting to help fix this iconic but wayward company.

“We believe long suffering Disney shareholders need Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo as independent voices and catalysts for much needed change on what’s been a chronically underperforming Board.”



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