Disney Stock Dips on Board Seats Rival, Annual Meeting Looms

Walt Disney stocks plunged amid its edge over activists in a board battle with the majority of all shares voted ahead of the annual meeting on Wednesday.

On Monday, the entertainment conglomerate stocks slid by -0.68% to $121.53 apiece in the closed trading session. Moreover, the California-based firm continued to drop by 0.38% to $121.07 per stock in the after-hours.

Rowe Price, an investment management firm holding a 0.64% stake or about $11.7 million shares in Disney, backed the company, voting to re-elect Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman despite Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management challenge.

Furthermore, on Monday, the entertainment giant reportedly secured support from BlackRock, its second-biggest shareholder. However, the New York-based investment firm has refused to make a statement.

According to reports, the support of the big institutional brokers could give Disney an early advantage over the proxy rival. Additionally, those overseeing the shareholders’ votes warned that outcomes might shift as more votes are expected to arrive by Tuesday.

Moreover, voters who have already cast their ballots still have the opportunity to alter their decision.

Meanwhile, Disney’s top executives, along with activist investors Trian and Blackwells Capital, rallied call center workers to persuade voters in a final push for board candidates.

Board Succession Planning Fails, Disney’s Everson Response

Disney board member Carolyn Everson responded to criticism regarding the entertainment giant board’s alleged failure in succession planning.

Everson has mentioned that the board is advancing, assessing internal candidates under Disney CEO Bob Iger’s guidance, and considering external options.

Meanwhile, both parties rushed to contact portfolio managers at mutual funds and stewardship teams overseeing shares owned by significant index funds like Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street, aiming to influence shareholders.

Reports show that neither side is claiming victory yet. Both sides have achieved some successes, notably after Peltz received the endorsement from proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, recommending his election.

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