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Nelson Peltz vs Bob Iger – End of Round 1

Nelson Peltz

Nelson Peltz (Unilever PR pic)

Nelson Peltz seems to have bested Bob Iger in his Proxy fight for control over Disney or did Bob Iger win? It is hard to tell. Trian Fund Management, Nelson Peltz’s firm, dropped its bid after Bob Iger revealed that Disney would find a way to slash $5.5 billion in expenses and cut 7,000 jobs to save money.

Some of the savings might come from a Disney divestment from streaming platform Hulu. As Bob Iger explained to CNBC, “Hulu is a very successful platform and a good consumer proposition, but everything’s on the table right now.”

Trian said “The proxy fight is over. This is a win for all shareholders.” But not a win for Nelson Peltz personally. Trian reportedly owns roughly 9.4 million shares of Disney that are currently valued at about $900 million. But Disney did not want Peltz on its board.

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Nelson Peltz spun this as a victory telling CNBC, “Now Disney plans to do everything we wanted them to do. We wish the very best to Bob, this management team and the board.

Peltz also offered a warning to Iger and Disney saying, “We will be watching. We will be rooting.”

“We respect and value the input of all our shareholders and we appreciate the decision by Trian Fund announced by Nelson Peltz this morning,” Disney’s board of directors said in a statement.

“We are pleased that our Board and management can remain focused without the distraction of a proxy contest, and we have tremendous faith in Bob Iger’s leadership and the transformative vision for Disney’s future he set forth yesterday,” the statement added.

Nelson Peltz is Chief Executive Officer and a Founding Partner of Trian Fund Management, L.P., an investment management firm. He has previously served on the Boards of several major global consumer goods companies, including The Procter & Gamble Company, H.J. Heinz Company and Mondelēz International. Nelson Peltz currently serves as Non-Executive Chairman of The Wendy’s Company and on the Boards of Janus Henderson Group Plc and Madison Square Garden Sports Corp.

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