Activist investor Blackwells Capital (Blackwells), a shareholder of The Walt Disney Company (Disney), has reaffirmed its support for the entertainment giant’s current CEO Bob Iger in a proxy statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In connection with its nomination of Jessica Schell, Craig Hatkoff and Leah Solivan for election to Disney’s board of directors at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Blackwells has also released an open letter to “fellow shareholders”.
In a press statement, Jason Aintabi, Chief Investment Officer of Blackwells, endorsed his firm’s candidates while questioning the suitability of a rival slate of nominees from Trian Asset Management.
“Jessica Schell, Craig Hatkoff and Leah Solivan bring invaluable expertise and experience to Disney’s board as it faces the challenges and opportunities of a generational transformation,” he said. “Voting for Blackwells’ nominees will ensure the Board has the support it requires across critical areas: media and content, real estate and asset optimisation.”
Aintabi went on to describe the Trian nominees, including the firm’s Founder Nelson Peltz, as “uninspiring”.
In the open letter, Blackwell’s wrote: “If elected, our three nominees for the board have pledged to continue to support Disney’s transformation efforts under the leadership of the current board and CEO, Robert A Iger. In addition to an approach of constructive collaboration, our three nominees will bring unique skills, expertise and perspectives to the board that draw on a range of experiences that the future of Disney depends on.”