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Key Words: Disney braces for board battle, with activist investor Nelson Peltz hatching a plan to ‘restore the magic’


“‘I don’t need to overwhelm them. I just need to speak reasonably to these people and explain to them where they went wrong or what opportunities they’re missing’”

That was activist investor Nelson Peltz, who is currently in the midst of a battle for a seat on the board of the Walt Disney Company
during a Thursday interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

Peltz’s investment firm Trian Group says it has shares in Disney valued at approximately $900 million, and wants Peltz on the board over claims the company is struggling with issues that are of its own volition.

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“We believe that the company’s current problems are primarily self-inflicted and need to be addressed immediately,” the company’s proxy statement looking to put Peltz on Disney’s board said.

The aforementioned proxy statement claims that Disney can be improved in several areas, including capital allocation, corporate governance and strategy and operations. Peltz also said he thinks Disney’s acquisition of selected assets from 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in 2017 has hurt the company.

On Wednesday, Trian launched a website for its bid to get Peltz on the board, and called it Restore the Magic

Disney has publicly opposed Peltz’s nomination.

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The 80-year-old Peltz said he should be put on Disney’s board because of his prior experience turning around companies by helping them improve performance and increase long-term shareholder value. Peltz has previously waged successful proxy battles at top-tier companies including DuPont

and Procter & Gamble
Trian Group said in a regulatory filing that Peltz is seeking a one-year term on the board.

Trian claims Peltz is not looking to break up the company or replace newly re-appointed CEO Bob Iger, who turns 72 next month. Disney has “lost its way resulting in a rapid deterioration in its financial performance,” Trian says.

A more detailed outline of Peltz’s vision for Disney can be found here.

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Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors announced Wednesday that it elected Mark Parker as chairman. Parker is a seven-year member of Disney’s board and is executive chairman of Nike
Parker is succeeding Susan Arnold, who reached the 15-year term limit on the board.

Shares of the Walt Disney Co. moved 3.69% higher during Thursday’s trading. Disney shares are down 36.89% over the past 12 months, compared with a 14.81% drop for the S&P 500

over the same period.

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