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Disney wins proxy fight against activist investor Nelson Peltz, as shareholders reelect full board

Disney shareholders on Wednesday reelected the media conglomerate's full board, preliminary results show, handing a stinging defeat to activist Nelson Peltz and former Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, both of whom agitated for change at one of America's most storied companies.

The widely expected victory caps a combative monthslong process and affirms the board's decisions, from the move to bring back CEO Bob Iger to his efforts to reinvigorate the $223 billion media company. Peltz-led Trian Partners wanted to oust two directors, Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman, citing sustained share underperformance, a failed succession process, and billions in misdirected investments.

Peltz lost to Lagomasino by a 2-to-1 margin, a person familiar with the matter said. Retail voters overwhelmingly supported Disney, that person added, helping to deliver Iger 94% of the overall vote. Former Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo, whom Trian also nominated, lost to Lagomasino by an even larger 5-1 margin. The person characterized it as Peltz's largest loss ever.

Percentage-wise, turnout for the director vote was in the mid-60s, another person familiar with the matter said. In 2023, around 63% of Disney shareholders voted.

A second activist, Blackwells, also failed to win board seats in its own long shot bid.

"I want to thank our shareholders for their trust and confidence in our Board and management. With the distracting proxy contest now behind us, we're eager to focus 100% of our attention on our most important priorities: growth and value creation for our shareholders and creative excellence for our consumers," Iger said in a release.

Disney deployed significant resources in the proxy fight. The company called in support from its