Advertisement

George Lucas Backs Disney and Bob Iger in Proxy Fight: “Creating Magic Is Not for Amateurs”

There’s a disturbance in the force, and George Lucas wants to help correct the problem.

The Star Wars and Indiana Jones filmmaker is weighing in on The Walt Disney Company’s ongoing proxy fight with activist investors, and he is throwing his support firmly behind CEO Bob Iger and Disney’s board.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

“Creating magic is not for amateurs. When I sold Lucasfilm just over a decade ago, I was delighted to become a Disney shareholder because of my long-time admiration for its iconic brand and Bob Iger’s leadership,” Lucas said in a statement Tuesday. “When Bob recently returned to the company during a difficult time, I was relieved. No one knows Disney better. 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. I have voted all of my shares for Disney’s 12 directors and urge other shareholders to do the same.”

Lucas is a high-profile name to support Iger and Disney, following similar statements of support from the family of Walt and Roy Disney last month, not to mention the shareholder services firm Glass Lewis, which released its recommendation to support the Disney board this week.

Disney is facing a proxy fight against two activists: The corporate raider Nelson Peltz, and Blackwells Capital. Notably, Peltz has billions of dollars in shares pledged by Ike Perlmutter, who, like Lucas, sold his company (Marvel) to Disney and became a major shareholder. Perlmutter remained with Disney until being laid off last year.

It is not clear how much Disney stock Lucas owns, but when the company acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion, the deal included about $1.8 billion in stock. Marvel, similarly, was acquired for about $4 billion.

Disney has been aggressively pushing back against the activists, not only outlining a strategic gameplan, but framing them as being more self-interested than pro-Disney.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter