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Disney activist investor Nelson Peltz gets new support in board seat fight

Activist investor Ancora is encouraging Disney (DIS) to add Trian Fund Management's Nelson Peltz to its board, calling it the "the right addition at this key moment in time."

"We believe Disney is saying the right things about restructuring and transforming the enterprise. Nonetheless, the addition of a shareholder representative or investor-designated directors to the Board can help ensure that these efforts are carried out in the most effective way," the activist wrote in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday.

Ancora, which has $8.7 billion in assets under management, did not disclose the size of its stake in the entertainment giant.

The firm said in the letter that Disney's current board is largely responsible for the company's recent struggles in entertainment, including its dismal box office performances and heightened streaming losses. It also accused the board of "politicizing" the brand, an apparent reference to its ongoing political battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Disney did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance's request for comment on the letter.

Trian said last week that it was moving forward with a proxy fight after Disney turned down its request for board representation. A source familiar with the matter told Yahoo Finance that Trian is seeking multiple board seats at the company.

Disney pointed to its cost-cutting efforts in the past year in response.

"Over the past twelve months, we restructured the company to restore creativity to the center of all our businesses as we significantly reduce costs and drive efficiencies, and we are on track to achieve about $7.5 billion in cost savings — $2 billion more than our original target," the company said in a statement.

Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke about the activist fight at the New York Times' DealBook Summit last week.

"We have to obviously contend with them in some form," Iger said of Peltz and Trian. "I’m certain that the board will hear them out in terms of what their plans are, what their ideas are."

Still, Iger said he's not focused on the battle in the near term: "I have a lot to do. I’m not going to get distracted by any of that."

Delivering Alpha 2014 -- Pictured: CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin moderates The Activist Agenda panel with Nelson Peltz, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Trian Fund Management, LP. at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York. Peltz launched yet another proxy fight at Disney last week.-- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/CNBC)
Nelson Peltz at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York. (Heidi Gutman/CNBC) (CNBC via Getty Images)

Alexandra Canal is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @allie_canal, LinkedIn, and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com.

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