Activist investor Nelson Peltz has increased his stake in Disney, putting pressure on CEO Bob Iger to improve the company's stock performance. Peltz, who runs hedge fund Trian Fund Management, now holds about 30 million shares of Disney, worth over $2.5 billion. It is expected that Peltz will ask for multiple board seats as a result of his increased stake.
This is not the first time Peltz has challenged Disney. In February, he engaged in a proxy fight with the company, which ended after Disney agreed to cost-cutting measures and layoffs. Since then, Disney's stock price has fallen more than 25%.
While Peltz has not outlined a specific plan, it is speculated that he may push for the sale of assets such as ABC and ESPN. Disney CEO Bob Iger has reportedly considered selling ABC, and there is potential for ESPN to be spun off, as it is an attractive asset for buyers, particularly tech companies like Apple.
If a breakup were to occur, Disney's film studios, parks, and streaming services would be the remaining businesses. These are the areas Iger has identified as driving growth and value creation in the coming years.
Analysts have differing opinions on the potential breakup. Some believe it could be a beneficial move for a company facing stock pressure, allowing it to unload core assets and conserve capital. Others, however, argue that Disney should focus on improving its performance rather than selling off assets.
Overall, Peltz's increased stake in Disney adds another layer of pressure on CEO Bob Iger to address the company's stock performance. The potential sale of assets like ABC and ESPN could be on the horizon, but the specific plans and outcomes remain uncertain at this time.