Mouse Roars as Disney Posts Epic Earnings, a Swift Riposte to Activists

The Walt Disney Company “crushed earningsWednesday, surpassing analyst predictions and strengthening its hand against Nelson Peltz and Blackwells. CEO Bob Iger went on CNBC to discuss the stellar results and made additional headlines with Taylor Swift, Fortnite and sports streaming. While Peltz indicated he is not backing down from his fight, Yale’s School of Management Professor Jeff Sonnenfeld suggested in Fortune that the octogenarian has a “personal grudge” against Disney and lacks ideas to help the company: “Peltz has picked the wrong sport–and the wrong opponent.”


Internationally, Elliott Management called for property developer Mitsui Fudosan to sell down its stake in the company that runs Tokyo Disneyland. That’s just one of the grievances lobbed at Mitsui Fudosan by Elliott, which is also asking the company to launch a share buyback program. This follows the recent uptick in activism activity in Japan, as investors want companies to improve their market valuations, raise corporate governance standards and increase their returns on equity. Una Galani, of Breakingviews, says the opportunities to engage with Japan are increasing and expects more to come.


Finally, the GPP team asks if you could please fill out our survey ahead of the Tulane Corporate Law Institute annual confab March 7-8. It will help gauge sentiment around M&A as well as inform topics for the annual “M&A and the Media” panel. Take the survey and let us know your predictions for the deal market in 2024 and your favorite New Orleans restaurant!


Have a great weekend,

GPP Team


Financial Times: ExxonMobil Takes Legal Hammer to Climate Shareholder Groups

ExxonMobil continues to pursue its lawsuit against climate activist groups Follow This and Arjuna Capital after the investors dropped their climate petitions from ExxonMobil’s ballot. Read More

The Deal: Activist U: Insurgent Tactics Make the Curriculum

Ron Orol describes how activists, communications, legal and financial experts have begun contributing to new university programs on shareholder activism. Read More


The Future of ESG: Thoughts for Boards and Management in 2024

Marty Lipton, Karessa Cain and Carmen Lu of Wachtell write that, though “the term [ESG] may have outlived its usefulness,” boards must still focus on issues, including those in the environmental, social and governance spaces, that materially impact long-term value and maintain open communication with investors. Read More


Law360: What Cos. Evaluating M&A Can Glean From Latest HSR Report

Ryan Quillian and John Kendrick of Covington & Burling discuss the implications of the latest HSR report, which showed that the number of merger enforcement actions brought by the agencies in fiscal year 2022 hit 20-year highs. Read More

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance: Outlook for M&A and Shareholder Activism in 2024

Looking ahead to the future of dealmaking, Cleary Gottlieb partners forecast a challenging M&A environment for 2024, following a significant downturn in global deal value in 2023, while acknowledging the potential for a resurgence in transactions, driven by strategic repositioning and private equity. Read More


Bloomberg: Skittish Investors Pull the Rug Out From Under Pricey US IPOs

Bailey Lipschultz and Amy Or report on the challenging landscape for US IPOs in 2024, noting the underperformance of major debuts like Amer Sports and BrightSpring Health Services against a backdrop of investor selectivity and concerns over company leverage. Read More


Financial Times: The Great US-Europe Antitrust Divide

Rana Foroohar notes the differing approach between US and European antitrust enforcement. Foroohar says US regulators place greater emphasis on broader societal effects versus European regulators’ focus on consumer welfare. Read More

The Deal: 2024: Make-or-Break Year for Antitrust

David Hatch outlines the year ahead for antitrust and what to expect heading into presidential elections, focusing on key developments like the FTC and DOJ's new merger guidelines and adjustments to HSR premerger notification processes. Read More


As GPPers gear up for this Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, our bets are in on under 10 camera pans to T. Swift throughout the night. While we sing Shake it Off after fumbles and sacks, GPPers will indulge in some homecooked classics like potato skins and beer cheese, courtesy of NYT’s Super Bowl Recipes.

If you are looking for activities that get you off the couch ahead of Sunday or just want something to wear for the big game, New York Fashion Week kicks off today. More than 70 emerging and established designers and brands will be debuting their autumn/winter collections until February 14. 


  • Julius Genachowski and Dawn Ostroff are joining the board of Mattel. Christopher Farrell has also been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Mattel. Read More

  • Fortune editor-at-large Michal Lev-Ram is leaving the news organization but will still be involved in the Most Powerful Women Summit. Read More

  • McDermott Will & Emery announced that Alexei J. Cowett has joined the firm as a partner in its transactions practice group in Washington. Read More

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