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T Rowe Price backs incumbents while CalPERS votes with Trian in Disney board room battle

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Disney’s board has secured the backing of T Rowe Price – and the votes attached to the mutual fund’s firm’s 11.7m shareholding in the entertainment giant – in its battle with Nelson Peltz’s activist hedge fund firm Trian Fund Management, according to a report by Reuters.

The report cites T Rowe Price as telling Reuters on Monday that it had voted for Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman, “the two incumbent directors whose board positions are being challenged.”

With over half of the votes now cast, Disney has reportedly pulled ahead of Trian in the battle for board seats despite the activist fund having on Friday secured the backing of the California Public Employees Retirement System.

“CalPERS believes Walt Disney Co will benefit from fresh eyes on its board of directors and voted its company shares in favour of candidates Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo,” the US pension fund, which owned 6.65m shares in the entertainment giant at the end of December, told Reuters.

Shareholders have until Wednesday to cast their votes in one of the year’s most closely watched corporate battles.

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