Activist backs off ESPN sale
September 12, 2022
Activist investor Dan Loeb seems to be backing off his call for Disney to spin-off ESPN. Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund bought a $1 billion stake in Disney this summer, and called for ESPN to be spun off to reduce Disney’s debt.
Now The Walk Disney Company CEO Bon Chapek has told Disney’s InHhouse Con: “If everyone wants to come in and buy it […] I think that says something about its potential, I think its potential is within the Disney company […] We have a plan for it that will restore ESPN to its growth trajectory. When the rest of the world knows what our plans are, they will be as confident about that proposition as we are.”
Following the remarks, Loeb appeared to retreat from his ESPN push. In a Tweet he said he looked forward to seeing the company “execute on the growth and innovation plans, generating considerable synergies as part of The Walt Disney company”.