Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman questioned news articles saying The Walt Disney Company is likely to win its proxy fight with billionaire investor Nelson Peltz and alternative investment manager Blackwells Capital.

Ackman pointed out on X that the articles cite unnamed sources, a preview of the board’s Wednesday meeting is highly unusual, and that the story could be a leak by Disney.

“If Peltz were ‘winning,’ there would be no leaks to the press,” Ackman wrote. “Companies of the caliber of Disney and/or its advisors should not behave this way.”

Ackman called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to “do a thorough investigation of this proxy contest and appropriately punish whoever is responsible for this miscarriage of shareholder governance and justice.”

“Only the company and its advisors have access to how shareholders have voted before the day of the annual meeting,” Ackman said. “My understanding is that it is illegal to release the outcome of the vote prior to it being finalized as it has the effect of manipulating the outcome.”

Ackman goes on to say that shareholder activists Peltz and Blackwells should be given the benefit of the doubt for their battle for five of the 12 seats on Disney’s board in the multimillion-dollar fight over the entertainment giant’s future.

“I think highly of Nelson Peltz,” Ackman said. “I am sure he would be greatly additive as a member of the Disney board.

“Ask yourself, why is the company fighting so hard to keep him off?” Ackman continued. “The fact that the company leaked the early returns to the media is further evidence that an activist of Nelson’s caliber deserves to be on this board for all shareholders’ benefit.

“Based on my knowledge of Nelson’s capabilities and the dirty tricks implemented by the company and its advisors, I strongly recommend that shareholders vote for Nelson Peltz for the Disney board,” Ackman said.

“Institutions who have already voted still have the time to change their vote. It is time that we make an example of Disney here so that this bad practice does not continue to poison shareholder democracy.”

Pershing Capital does not own Disney stock, Ackman noted.

Disney’s stock is down 39% from its record high but has recovered 35% this year to close at $122.82 on Tuesday, helped by earnings and such initiatives as a $1.5 billion investment in “Fortnite” maker Epic Games.

Disney and the two shareholder activists have each spent millions of dollars on campaigns trying to persuade voters.

Today’s Disney board meeting starts at 10 a.m.


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