Legendary filmmaker George Lucas is backing Disney and CEO Bob Iger in the company’s proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz.

“No one knows Disney better” than CEO Bob Iger, Lucas said in a statement seen by Reuters.

“I remain a significant shareholder because I have full faith and confidence in the power of Disney and Bob’s track record of driving long-term value,” he reportedly said. “I have voted all my shares for Disney’s 12 directors and urge other shareholders to do the same.”

Lucas has been a Disney shareholder since selling his production company, Lucasfilm, to the media giant in 2012 for more than $4 billion in cash and stock.

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Lucas said he was “delighted” to have a stake in Disney “because of my longtime admiration of its iconic brand and Bob Iger’s leadership” and was “relieved” when Iger returned in 2022, according to Reuters.

Disney and Iger have faced criticism from Peltz and his hedge fund, Trian Partners, as the two sides continue to engage in the proxy fight that began at the end of November.

Disney Bob Iger

FOX Business reached out to Trian for comment.

The firm has put forward Peltz and former Disney CFO James Rasulo as board nominees as part of the proxy fight, saying they will help “restore the magic” at the entertainment giant.

In a Monday letter to Disney shareholders, Trian argued the company has “lost its way” and its financial performance “has deteriorated,” including the value of its stock. It specifically raised issues with box office performance, streaming and linear TV.

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The firm said Peltz and Rasulo would bring “focus, alignment and accountability to the Company’s boardroom” if elected.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 114.53 +0.70 +0.61%

Disney has argued that the board nominees of Trian and another, separate activist investor “do not have the qualifications or experience to be effective Disney directors, and could disrupt the Company’s significant progress,” something the activist investors have pushed back on.

The company has also told investors its “strategic transformation is working” and its board and management “are delivering on our commitments to create superior, sustainable shareholder value.”

Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California

In addition to Lucas, others have stood by Disney and its CEO in recent weeks, including Disney family members and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

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Glass Lewis, a proxy voting advisory firm, also recently recommended that Disney shareholders side with the entertainment giant’s slate in the board vote.

The proxy fight between Trian and Disney is expected to come to a head at the entertainment giant’s shareholder meeting in early April. The firm, which controls $3.5 billion worth of Disney stock, mounted a proxy fight last year as well.

Both Disney and Trian have been issuing communications to shareholders in the meantime.

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