The Walt Disney Company Defends Fox Acquisition Amidst Claims By Investor Nelson Peltz

With activist investor Nelson Peltz, who is seeking a spot on Disney Board, calling out the acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets as one of his major concerns with the company, Disney is defending the purchase in their recently-released proxy statement.

What’s Happening:

  • The Walt Disney Company is defending their purchase of 21st Century Fox (TFCF) assets, including key assets Hulu, FX, National Geographic, and others amidst investor Nelson Peltz’s specific mention of the acquisition in his attempts to gain a spot on the Disney Board.
  • In the proxy, Disney notes that the acquisition broadened their portfolio of world-class IP, significantly enhanced content output capability, Enabled acceleration of global DTC expansion ahead of peers, facilitated the acceleration of the strategic shift to DC which was key in differentiating Disney from other emerging services.
  • The Proxy also notes that Disney “DIDN'T buy Sky … we sold our stake at a premium value ($15BN),” provided new avenues for growth in attractive international regions, and provided a “deep bench of experienced, proven management” including:
    • Dana Walden (Disney General Entertainment)
    • John Landgraf (FX)
    • Courtney Monroe (Nat Geo)
    • Craig Erwich (Hulu)
    • Steve Asbell (20th Century Studios)
    • Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum (Searchlight) and
    • Jan Koeppen (TWDC EMEA)
  • The company also cites key assets, like Hulu, National Geographic, Hotstar, and Star as well as the libraries of The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Modern Family as gains in the acquisition, as well as the ability to unify key IP, mentioning Deadpool, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Star Wars: A New Hope.
  • Elsewhere in the Proxy, Disney states that Peltz “does not understand Disney’s business and lacks the skill and experience to assist the Board in delivering shareholder value in a rapidly shifting media ecosystem.
  • The proxy also reveals that Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter advocated for Peltz to join the board at the Walt Disney Company.
  • The company argues that Peltz has offered no real plan or solutions for the company.
  • Disney’s statements comes after Peltz released his proxy statement last week, including launching the site