Hedge Fund Third Point Takes New Stake in Walt Disney (DIS)
New York-based hedge fund Third Point has taken a new stake in Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), it was revealed on Monday.
Back in May, it was reported that Daniel Loeb, Third Point's founder and chief executive, liquidated its position in Walt Disney during the first quarter after previously urging the company to spend more aggressively on its streaming platform.
However, they have now taken a new stake in the media and entertainment powerhouse.
Loeb, in a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, set out five points where they believe Disney could be better off, including cutting costs, suspending payment of its cash dividend, integrating Hulu directly into the Disney+ DTC platform, attempting to acquire Comcast's remaining minority stake, the ESPN business being spun off to shareholders, and changes to the current board.
Third Point also stated they have filed Hart-Scott-Rodino approval with the Federal Trade Commission so they can engage with management and the Board, commenting that the company "will likely require additional strategic, capital allocation, and governance changes to ensure its success."
Hart-Scott-Rodino is designed to provide the FTC and the Department of Justice with information about large mergers and acquisitions before they occur.
"Disney's costs are among the highest in the industry, and we believe Disney significantly underearns relative to its potential. We urge the Company to embark on a cost-cutting program that addresses both margins and the disposal of excess underperforming assets," wrote Third Point.
Regarding Comcast, Loeb stated they "urge the company to make every attempt to acquire Comcast's remaining minority stake prior to the contractual deadline in early 2024," and they believe it would "even be prudent for Disney to pay a modest premium to accelerate the integration."
Disney shares jumped around 2% after the news broke, adding to their over 30% gain in the last month.
By Sam Boughedda