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It’s a traditional Disney film plot: A household comes collectively to combat an enemy.

Solely this time it’s occurring in actual life, with the grandchildren of Walt and Roy Disney, who based the corporate in 1923, becoming a member of forces to oppose Nelson Peltz, the activist investor who’s waging a proxy battle for board seats. The heirs — 9 in complete, together with Abigail E. Disney, who has at occasions been a harsh critic of Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief government — publicly lined up behind Mr. Iger and the present Disney board on Thursday.

“These activists have to be defeated,” Roy P. Disney, 66, mentioned by phone. “They don’t seem to be fascinated with preserving the Disney magic, however stripping it to the bone to make a fast revenue for themselves.”

In an announcement, a spokesperson for Trian Companions, the funding agency which Mr. Peltz runs, mentioned: “We love Disney and acknowledge constructing on its wealthy historical past of delighting loyal followers is crucial to its future success. Trian invests in nice corporations like Disney and helps them develop and thrive for the long run — and now we have the monitor report to show it at corporations like P&G, Heinz and Mondelez.”

Mr. Disney, a grandson of Roy Disney, has three siblings: Abigail, Susan Disney Lord and Tim Disney. In a letter to Disney shareholders, which was seen by The New York Occasions, they name Mr. Peltz and a handful of different activist buyers encircling Disney “wolves in sheep’s clothes.”

“It’s crucial that the technique Bob Iger, his administration crew and the board of administrators have carried out shouldn’t be disrupted,” the letter says. Their cousins, grandchildren of Walt Disney, despatched a letter of their very own echoing these sentiments.

Abigail Disney, 64, whose 2022 documentary, “The American Dream and Different Fairy Tales,” attacked Disney for pay inequality, added by phone, “I’ve my variations with Bob Iger, however I do know for a proven fact that the worst factor that might occur to the corporate is Nelson Peltz.”

Mr. Peltz, 81, is campaigning for 2 seats on Disney’s board of 12, one for himself and one for James A. Rasulo, 68, a former chief monetary officer of Disney who left in 2015 after being handed over as Mr. Iger’s inheritor obvious. Mr. Peltz is aligned with Ike Perlmutter, 80, a sharp-elbowed former Disney worker who is without doubt one of the firm’s largest impartial shareholders. Mr. Perlmutter, who offered Marvel Leisure to Disney in 2009, was pushed out of the corporate final yr.

Mr. Perlmutter had agitated — from his perch inside Disney — for Mr. Peltz to hitch the board in 2022. When he was rebuffed, Mr. Peltz began a proxy battle, saying he would lower prices, revamp Disney’s streaming enterprise and clear up the corporate’s messy succession planning. He withdrew after Disney restructured and introduced $5.5 billion in cuts. (It ended up nearer to $7.5 billion.)

The pair re-emerged in October, citing Disney’s languishing inventory value and the mishandling of Disney’s management succession plan.

“Essentially and crudely, we wish the inventory to go up,” Mr. Peltz says in a video message on Restore the Magic, a website that lays out his case for a board shake-up. In a video posted on X on Wednesday, Mr. Peltz mentioned, “We love Disney. We expect it’s a part of Americana.”

This month, after Disney reported robust quarterly outcomes and introduced a partnership with Epic Video games, shares spiked. Disney was buying and selling at about $111.50 on Thursday, up 23 p.c for the reason that begin of the yr. Shares peaked at practically $200 in March 2021, nevertheless.

The sparring round Disney extends past Mr. Peltz. Blackwells Capital, a hedge fund, is seeking three seats on Disney’s board, saying that Mr. Iger, 73, wants assist navigating the fast-changing media and know-how companies; Disney opposes the hassle. One other activist investor, ValueAct, is backing Disney amid the Trian and Blackwells challenges.

The proxy battles will come to a head on April 3, when Disney holds its annual shareholder assembly. (Will probably be carried out on-line.)

“I method daily at Disney with a deep sense of respect for every thing Walt and Roy created, and it’s extremely significant to have the assist of their households,” Mr. Iger mentioned in an e-mail. “We’re dedicated to defending their legacy as we chart Disney’s path forward.”

The Disney household has not been concerned in managing the corporate since Roy E. Disney — the daddy of Abigail, Susan, Tim and Roy P. Disney — stepped down from the board in 2003. He subsequently led a shareholder revolt that resulted in Michael D. Eisner’s resignation as chief government and Mr. Iger’s ascendance to the highest of the corporate. Roy E. Disney died in 2009.

It’s price noting that the Disney household previously ran an activist funding fund, Shamrock Holdings, which performed a serious position within the 2003 shake-up of what was additionally an underperforming Disney firm.

Roy P. Disney mentioned that he and his members of the family proceed to carry shares; he declined to dimension the holdings, however analysts say that the Disney household has a comparatively small place. He mentioned that Disney didn’t solicit their assist in its combat to fend off Mr. Peltz and his fellow activists. He mentioned they determined to talk up as a result of Mr. Peltz’s marketing campaign reminded them of a bitter episode in 1984, when the company raider Saul Steinberg moved on the corporate. Mr. Steinberg was in the end overwhelmed again.

Mr. Disney and his siblings have been joined on Thursday by 5 cousins (Walter Elias Disney Miller, Tamara Diane Miller, Jennifer Miller-Goff, Joanna Sharon Miller and Michelle Lund) who additionally expressed assist for Mr. Iger, albeit with much less emotion.

“Because the household of Walt Disney, we assist the Walt Disney Firm administration and its board of administrators, and oppose the nominations put forth by Nelson Peltz,” they mentioned of their letter. “There have been difficult occasions, however this present administration has adjusted and grown by means of these challenges.”

Michelle Lund, whose mom, Sharon Disney Lund, was considered one of Walt Disney’s daughters, added in an e-mail, “Disney began as a household firm, and regardless that it has grown into such an enormous world enterprise, Disney remains to be about household. My mom could be appalled by these activists’ makes an attempt to pressure their method into the corporate.”

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