Trian, which owns less than a 5% stake in Disney valued at $900 million, raised issues with how shareholder value has declined, and was critical of management overpaying for the assets of 21st Century Fox and bidding aggressively for pay-TV giant Sky PLC.
The firm also called out poor corporate governance, including failed succession planning and Disney’s lack of engagement with Trian in the last few months.
“Trian believes that Disney’s recent performance reflects the hard truth that it is a company in crisis with many challenges weighing on investor sentiment,” the hedge fund said in a statement last week.
However, the Disney filing said its board was in a good place to move the company forward, adding that Peltz didn’t have an understanding of the company’s business and presented no strategy to drive shareholder value.
Bob Iger, who came back as CEO in November after Bob Chapek was ousted, has vowed to focus on cost cuts and profitability after the fledgling Disney+ streaming operation became a global giant but bled money. Disney had said it expects the business to break even by 2024.
Last week, Disney said that while its senior leadership and board “have engaged with Mr. Peltz numerous times over the last few months, the board does not endorse the Trian Group nominee.”