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Jim Cramer says Disney should allow Nelson Peltz to join its board

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday called on Disney to give activist investor Nelson Peltz a seat on its board.

“It’s the board, the stewards, who haven’t done a good job. Not the shareholders, and not Peltz. Now someone like Peltz, who’s been tremendously successful, wants to join them and they act like that’s a problem,” he said.

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Nelson Peltz's attempt to join Disney's board could force much-needed accountability

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Trian Fund Management, Peltz’s activist firm, filed a preliminary proxy statement on Thursday seeking to appoint the investor to Disney’s board.

Peltz laid out his plan for a proxy fight against the entertainment giant Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” 

He highlighted his issues with Disney, including its $71 billion acquisition of Fox in 2019 that he said ruined the company’s balance sheet, the deterioration of the company’s shareholder value in recent years and what he views as poor corporate governance.

Cramer agreed with Peltz’s assessment of the costly Fox acquisition and the balance sheet issues, and criticized Disney for opposing the activist investor’s bid for a board seat.

He also reminded investors who own shares of the company that a proxy fight could put a dent in shareholder returns.

“Lots of money, your money if you’re a shareholder like my charitable trust, will be spent to stop Nelson Peltz from joining the board … even though he’s not the guy who was involved with the disastrous Fox acquisition or the disastrous choice to make Bob Chapek the CEO,” Cramer said.

Disclaimer: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Disney.

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