Disney proxy fight over for Iger, Nelson Peltz claims victory

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What are Nelson Peltz’s plans for Disney?

FOX Business senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino reports activist investor Nelson Peltz may make a statement addressing his concerns after Disney’s earnings release on ‘The Claman Countdown.’

Activist investor Nelson Peltz has ended his proxy fight with Walt Disney after the media and entertainment company announced a restructuring plan that included cost cuts and 7,000 layoffs.

"My dad once told me that you can only win once, this was a great win for all the shareholders," Peltz told CNBC on Thursday. 

"Management at Disney now plans to do everything that we wanted them to do," he continued. "We wish the very best to [Disney CEO] Bob [Iger], his management team, and the board. We will be watching; we will be rooting."

"The proxy fight is over," said the founding co-partner of Trian Fund Management.

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Nelson Peltz founding partner of Trian Fund Management LP. speak at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Oct. 25, 2016. (Reuters/Mike Blake / Reuters Photos)

Disney replied to Peltz in a company saying, "We respect and value the input of all our shareholders and we appreciate the decision by Trian Fund announced by Nelson Peltz."

"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," the entertainment company added in the statement.

Trian disclosed that it owns approximately 9.4 million common shares of Walt Disney valued at approximately $1 billion.

Disney will hold its next board meeting on April 3, 2023. All shareholders of record as of the close of business Feb. 8, 2023, are entitled to vote at the meeting.

Earnings and job cuts

The Disney+ streaming log-in screen is displayed on a television, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, in East Derry, N.H. Walt Disney reports quarterly financial results reports quarterly financial results Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa / AP Newsroom)

Disney announced Wednesday that it was trimming its payroll by some 7,000 employees, becoming the latest major firm to cut jobs as economic uncertainty weighs.

Disney said it planned to cut $2.5 billion in sales and general administrative expenses and other operating costs, an effort that is already under way. Another $3 billion in savings would come from reductions in non-sports content, including the layoffs.

For the fiscal first quarter that ended on Dec. 31, Disney reported adjusted earnings per share of 99 cents, ahead of the average analyst estimate of 78 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Net income came in at $1.279 billion, below analyst estimates. Revenue hit $23.512 billion, ahead of Wall Street estimates of $23.4 billion.

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Former Disney CEO Bob Iger returns to board amid a firestorm of upcoming financial and board decisions. (Associated Press)

Yesterday’s meeting was the first after former CEO Bob Iger’s return, where he faced the company’s existing streaming service crisis, a potential future without ESPN or ABC and a proxy fight with an activist investor.

Last month, Peltz said he wanted a seat on Walt Disney's board while also saying he wants to "restore the magic" in the entertainment and media company.

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In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Disney is working on sequels for its “Toy Story,” “Frozen” and “Zootopia” franchises as the company concentrates more on br (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File / AP Images)

Peltz's Trian Group filed a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking the position after announcing their intentions in January.

When asked by CNBC on Thursday how much money he made on the deal, Peltz said "Everybody made money," and "I’ll pick up lunch or breakfast the next time I promise."

Shares of Disney have traded well into the green on Thursday, after rising roughly 18% the past month.

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Walt Disney Co

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DISTHE WALT DISNEY CO.110.33-1.42-1.27%

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FOX Business reporter Breck Dumas and Reuters contributed to the article. 

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