Billionaire Clashing With Disney Admits He’s A Massive Taylor Swift Fan—Praises ‘Eras’ Film On Disney+ – Forbes

Investor Nelson Peltz is a major fan of Taylor Swift, the pop star and fellow billionaire 57 years his junior, Peltz said in an interview Wednesday with CNBC, as part of a rare tip of the cap to Disney’s money-losing streaming division—which bought the rights to Swift’s concert movie—as he engages in a bitter campaign to pry his way onto Disney’s board of directors.
Nelson Peltz, left, and the world’s richest man Elon Musk attend the Premiere of Peltz’s daughter’s … [+] movie “Lola” last month.
“A real fan, I love her,” Peltz said about Swift on Wednesday in an interview with CNBC’s “Money Movers.”
Peltz’s declaration of admiration for Swift came in an otherwise harsh discussion regarding his thoughts on Disney, which his firm owns about a 1.7% stake of as part of its effort to win a pair of board seats at Disney at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in April.
Peltz pelted Disney in both a letter released via his hedge fund Trian Partners and slamming the entertainment giant’s slew of announcements last week including a joint sports streaming venture and a $1.5 billion investment into video game maker Epic Games as little more than throwing “spaghetti at the wall” as Disney wards off Peltz’s second activist campaign over the last two years.
But Peltz offered what appeared to be a rare compliment toward Disney and its CEO Bob Iger in his sit down with CNBC, indicating he liked the firm’s reported $75 million purchase of the rights to Swift’s concert film for its paid Disney+ streaming service last week.
Peltz added Disney’s move to acquire the Swift film was “great” amid the otherwise underwhelming announcements with little “meat on the bone.”
The 81-year-old Peltz and the 34-year-old Swift are both self-made billionaires, according to Forbes’ calculations. Swift, who was first minted a billionaire in October, is worth $1.1 billion, while Peltz holds a $1.5 billion fortune.
Peltz’s celebrity daughter Nicola Peltz Beckham and Swift share a close mutual friend in actress and singer Selena Gomez. Gomez has described herself on social media as a “proud friend” of 29-year-old Peltz Beckham, who is married to the son of British celebrities David and Victoria Beckham, and the “best frien” [sic] of Swift. It’s unclear if Swift and Peltz Beckham, or Swift and Peltz himself, have ever interacted.
Peltz is among the most famous activist investors of his generation, having successfully hoisted himself onto the boards of companies like Proctor & Gamble and Wendy’s in an effort to better extract shareholder value at target companies. Peltz first staged a proxy battle against Disney last January before calling it off just a month later as he expressed approval for the plans of Iger, but relaunched his activist campaign late last year as Disney’s stock again flailed. Peltz has taken issue with the steep losses in Disney’s streaming unit including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, a division which has reported more than $8 billion of operating losses over the past three years.

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