Activist Investor Nelson Peltz Sells Disney Stock After Losing Proxy Battle With Bob Iger

Nelson Peltz is reportedly out of the Disney business.

Nelson Peltz, the activist investor who lost a proxy battle with Bob Iger earlier in the year, has reportedly sold his stake in Disney. This brings to end a long-simmering feud between Peltz and Iger, with the former attempting a power grab to push Iger out at Disney and appoint himself and his colleagues to the Disney board of trustees. Back in April, Disney shareholders rejected Nelson Peltz and his Trian Fund Management partners' bid to join the Disney board. Disney shareholders backed Iger and the rest of the board, and now it appears Peltz is moving on.

CNBC reports Nelson Peltz sold his entire Disney stake, according to a person familiar with the matter. He reportedly sold his Disney stock at about $120 a share, which earned him around $1 billion. Disney stock is currently trading at around $100 per share. Part of Peltz's issue with Bob Iger's reign at Disney had to do with the company's streaming and theatrical strategy, most notably calling out feature films Captain Marvel and Black Panther. His comments called out the reasoning behind having movies that were comprised of "all women" and "all Black" casts.

"Why do I have to have a Marvel [movie] that's all women?" Peltz wondered before the proxy vote was underway in April. "Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that? Why can't I have Marvels that are both? Why do I need an all-Black cast?"

Nelson Peltz's feud with Bob Iger

Some of the animosity between Nelson Peltz and Bob Iger is tied to Ike Perlmutter, the former chairman of Marvel Entertainment. Iger told CNBC about the power play's underlying dynamics during an interview. He pointed out how Trian Partners is 75% owned by Ike Perlmutter. The former Marvel executive has some complicated personal ties to both Disney and Marvel that help color the conflict that continues to play out.

"Our filings indicate that both Ike and Nelson were working together to try to encourage the board or convince the board to put Nelson on the board," he recalled. "They have a relationship that dates back quite some time. We bought Marvel in 2009. I promised Ike the job that he would continue to run Marvel after that. Not forever, necessarily. But after that."

Iger continued, "And in 2015 he was intent on firing Kevin Feige who was running Marvel's studio, the movie making [operation] at the time, and I thought that was a mistake and stepped in to prevent that from happening. I think Kevin is an incredibly, incredibly talented executive that you know, the Marvel track record speaks for itself. And so I moved the moviemaking operation of Marvel out from under Ike into the movie studio under Alan Horn."

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