The Battle at Walt Disney: Alliances and Discord

The battle at Walt Disney has reached new heights, as various activists form alliances while others are pitted against each other. One recent development is Ancora Holdings expressing support for Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, which seeks representation on Disney’s board in its second attempt. The nomination window for Disney board seats opened on December 5 and will close in a few weeks.

Ancora Holdings criticized Disney’s board for engaging in activities that “divide consumers,” rather than bringing them joy. They believe that having someone like Peltz on the board would be beneficial for shareholders. Despite this, a significant portion of Ancora’s statement focused on accusing Blackwells Capital of using a recent threat against Wendy’s, a long-time Trian holding, as a “self-serving publicity stunt” to discourage Trian’s efforts at Disney.

Blackwells Capital has accused Peltz of creating a “value-destructive fog” for Disney’s leadership and board. Both Blackwells and Trian declined to comment, while Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

Although Blackwells’ threat was seen as peculiar, it is not currently being taken seriously by Trian. Don Bilson, head of event-driven research at Gordon Haskett, stated in an email that nobody at Trian lost any sleep over this suggestion.

However, with four activists involved in Disney, including ValueAct, the happiest place on Earth is currently experiencing discord alongside box-office disappointments.

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