Disney’s Playing Cat And Mouse

Disney’s Playing Cat And Mouse

11 months ago2 mins

Veteran activist investor Nelson Peltz has his eyes on Disney’s tail – or uh, boardroom, according to news out on Wednesday.

What does this mean?

Nelson Peltz’s investment firm Trian has a $900 million stake in Disney already, and it’s now pushing for a seat on the board to “restore the magic” that's been lost in recent years. See, after overspending on streaming services and some questionable mega-mergers, the firm’s stock price is currently languishing near eight-year lows. But Disney’s already pinned its turnaround hopes on recently reinstated leader Bob Iger, and it’s not on the lookout for a second Prince Charming. So if Peltz wants to nab a seat in Disney’s boardroom, he may have to win over shareholders’ votes in a so-called proxy fight instead.

Disney stock

Why should I care?

For markets: Prepare for a catfight.

Nelson Peltz and Trian Partners have acted as the corporate world’s fairy godmothers in the past, boosting fortunes for the likes of Procter & Gamble, Tiffany & Co., and Comcast. And just last summer, Peltz managed to shove his way onto Unilever’s board and work his magic on its share price too. So sure, Disney and its new chief are rapidly unveiling some radical plans of their own, including cost cuts and boardroom shakeups. But if that’s not enough to convince lovelorn shareholders, Peltz’s glimmering track record might just do the trick.

Peltz success

Zooming in: Bob’s big task.

Streaming platforms were once an affordable alternative to rip-off cable bills, but nowadays a handful of subscriptions can set you back more than OG TV used to. That’s one of the problems faced by Disney and its ilk: with customers cutting down on spending, making knock-out shows is the only way to ensure your subscription’s not on the chopping block. Problem is, crowd-attracting blockbusters can be pricey to produce, and Disney’s already in the dock for its excessive spending.



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