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Activist investor mounts boardroom fight at Disney

STORY: One of Walt Disney’s most explosive boardroom battles is shaping up with activist investor Nelson Peltz pitted against Bob Iger, who was brought back as chief executive last month.

It’s the second time in six months an activist shareholder pressured the entertainment giant.

Peltz’s activist fund Trian Partners on Wednesday denounced Disney in a presentation titled “Restore the Magic”, calling it a “company in crisis”.

A statement said Disney failed at succession planning and criticized its streaming business Disney+ for being unprofitable, while it asked for more accountability of money management, and to reinstate its dividend by the 2025 fiscal year.

The fund owns 9.4 million Disney shares, around 0.5% stake, bought days after Disney released lackluster quarterly earnings results.

On Wednesday, Disney named Nike veteran Mark Parker as its next chairman, and said while its senior leadership and board have engaged with Peltz numerous times the past months, it does not endorse Peltz for a seat on the board of directors.

Peltz has overcome big names like Unilever and the burger chain Wendy’s in previous proxy fights, and won a board seat with Procter & Gamble a few years ago.

Disney says it expects Trian to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday to elect Peltz for a board seat in opposition to the company’s nominees.