Disney backs Bob Iger, pokes hole in Peltz’s points

On acquisitions

Disney is showing signs of poor corporate governance, strategy and operations, and capital allocations—”including overpaying for the 21st Century Fox assets and bidding aggressively for Sky”—according to Trian Group, which Peltz co-founded.

Disney argues the Fox buy was “critical” to position itself better against competing services, and it brought a “deep bench” of talent to the company. Among them is Dana Walden, former chairperson and CEO of Fox Television Group, who’s currently chairperson of Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) and has been touted as a contender to succeed Iger.

Separately, the media behemoth points out that it didn’t buy Sky—it sold its stake at a premium value of $15 billion.

On shareholder returns

Peltz’s firm said Disney’s total shareholder return (TSR) “has materially underperformed the S&P 500 over 1-year, 3-year, 5-year and 10-year periods by 24%, 60%, 66%, and 116%, respectively.” As the stock nears 8-year-lows, Disney argues Iger’s the best man for the job, pointing to his last tenure as proof. Iger grew Disney’s market cap five-fold to $231 billion, and improved TSR by leaps and bounds.

Plus, Disney noted Peltz’s claims that for companies where Peltz has served as a board member, their TSR has outpaced the S&P 500 by +~900 basis points annually is not true. At MSG Sports, the returns were up just 71% versus 135% for the stock market index.

“Peltz has no track record in large cap media or tech, no solutions to offer for the evolving media landscape and if MSG Sports is his training ground, it has not been a good one,” Disney claims.

On firing Bob Iger

“If you look at my record, I’ve never gotten rid of anybody,” Peltz said during CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program. Disney debunked that by raising the case of GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who Peltz squeezed out of the CEO chair a few years ago.

Related stories

🌀 In a plot twist, Disney is bringing back CEO Bob Iger

🙅🏿‍♂ “Wakanda Forever” broke a box office record, but Disney is still prepping for economic winter

👎 In the ScarJo versus Disney PR war, everyone’s a loser

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.