Glass Lewis backs Disney directors in boardroom fight with hedge funds

By Thomson Reuters Mar 18, 2024 | 8:37 AM

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis on Monday urged Walt Disney shareholders to re-elect all company board members, dealing a blow to Trian Fund Management and Blackwells Capital as the hedge funds fight for board seats at the entertainment giant.

Glass Lewis said that recent earnings reports show Disney is making in progress and that the two hedge funds have not proposed better ideas to improve operations.

“We believe investors would be best served endorsing the incumbent directors at this time,” the report, seen by Reuters, said.

Disney’s board has 12 members and Trian put forward two candidates, while Blackwells proposed three candidates for the board.

The tussle over who will serve on Disney’s board has been the most bitter and expensive of the season with Trian saying the company has lost it’s creative engine and needs to do better in finding an executive to succeed CEO Bob Iger and Blackwells saying the company needs to harness technology better to dominate the media and entertainment space in the years ahead.

Disney has received powerful endorsements from another hedge fund, ValueAct Capital, and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, whose bank is defending the company against the hedge funds.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Mark Potter)