Disney Pushes Back Against Activist Investor Mulling Hulu, Streaming Changes

In its new battle with the longtime activist investor, Walt Disney says Nelson Peltz has “no track record” to help large media or technology companies in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday.

The company adds that Peltz does not understand its business, especially in a “rapidly shifting media ecosystem.” Disney says his lack of understanding comes across with comments like this one, recently made on CNBC: “They have to buy Hulu or they have to get out of the streaming business.”

The company claims, for example, that Peltz's board seat and influence at MSG Sports since 2014 has underwhelmed, with its stock price only up 71% against the S&P 500 Index gaining 135% over the period.

Peltz has been angling for a seat on the board since mid-2022 for and is looking for major changes with the company to drive more rapid profitability. Now with the return of Bob Iger as Disney's CEO, Peltz has amped up his efforts, according to the company -- suggesting that if he wasn’t given a board seat, he would start a proxy shareholder fight.



Still, other investors believe Peltz is on the right track. And for all the good news associated with Bob Iger's return as chief executive officer earlier this month, there is still a lot of work to be done.

On CNBC, Stephanie Link, chief investment strategist for Hightower, said Walt Disney will lose $15 billion on its direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming businesses through 2024, adding that the company will continue to have “content problem, as well as pricing problems at the [theme] parks.”

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