Disney slams Peltz as boardroom battle heats up

STORY: The boardroom battle between Disney CEO Bob Iger and activist investor Nelson Peltz has ratcheted up - with Disney throwing the latest punch.

The entertainment giant slammed Peltz on Tuesday in a letter to shareholders, defending its decision to deny him a board seat by saying he "lacked the skills and experience" to help the media and entertainment giant.

The searing comments came after Peltz last week formally launched a fight for a board seat to rescue Disney from what he called a "crisis" of overspending on its Disney+ streaming business, its purchase of 21st Century Fox and failed succession planning.

The billionaire’s move pits Peltz against Iger, one of the most popular executives in Hollywood - who recently returned from retirement to lead Disney for a second time.

Peltz told CNBC last week that Disney should either get out of the streaming business or buy the rest of rival service Hulu. Disney has a majority stake in Hulu; Comcast owns the rest.

In its statement on Tuesday, Disney said it was already working to improve profitability at Disney+ and that it was rolling out broader cost-cutting measures.

Peltz's Trian Fund Management, which owns a .5% stake, or roughly $900 million in Disney, declined to comment.

Unless Peltz settles with Disney, investors will vote this year on whether he should sit on the company's board.