Report: Vanguard votes for Iger over Peltz in Disney proxy fight

Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, speaks during the grand opening ceremony for the Zootopia-themed attraction at Shanghai Disney Resort at Shanghai Disney Resort on December 19, 2023 in Shanghai, China.

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Disney The largest shareholder, index fund manager Vanguard, plans to back Nelson Peltz's Trian Partners management in a board vote on Wednesday. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Institutional shareholders have until Wednesday to change their vote. Vanguard owns 7.8% of Disney shares. Black stonethe second largest shareholder in Disney with 4.2% of shares, and also supports the current board of directors and CEO Bob Iger, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Reports on how Disney's largest shareholders will vote drew sharp criticism from activist investor Bill Ackman on Tuesday evening.

“Only the company and its advisors have access to how shareholders vote before the day of the annual meeting,” Ackman said books on social media platform

Ackman wrote that Disney shareholders should support Peltz's efforts, because he would be “hugely additive” to Disney and because the media leaks, which Ackman claimed came from Disney or its advisors, raised the question of why management was “fighting so hard to keep him off.”

It would be a major blow to Peltz's ambitions to join Disney's board if both BlackRock and Vanguard moved to support the media company's nominees. That would leave only State Street and Geod Capital Management, the company's third and fourth largest shareholders, unknown.

through ranking Along with former Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, Trian controls 1.8% of Disney shares, making her the fifth-largest shareholder. Individual investors have until 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday to submit their vote by phone or online.

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Trian has received support from other smaller shareholders, including Neuberger Berman and CalPERS. For its part, Disney summoned some of the most prominent names in the corporate and media world, including… C. B. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Star Wars creator George Lucas.

Disney's shareholder meeting begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET.

Vanguard declined to comment to CNBC.

Read the full Bloomberg report here.

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