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Investor Daniel Loeb Backs Off Disney-ESPN Sale Proposal, Citing ‘Better Understanding’ of Company’s ‘Growth and Innovation’ Plan

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Cynthia Littleton Business Editor Activist investor Daniel S. Loeb of Third Point has backed off his proposal from last month for Disney to divest itself of ESPN in order to devote even more resources to content creation for streaming platforms.

Loeb sent two Twitter messages early Sunday morning that amounted to an olive branch to Disney and its CEO Bob Chapek. Loeb said he had gained a “better understanding” of Disney’s plans to more deeply integrate ESPN into its direct-to-consumer operations and the emerging Disney bundle of channels.

The social media missive signals that Loeb will not step up his public pressure on Disney and seek to field an alternative slate of directors at the company’s annual meeting next spring. “We have a better understanding of @espn’s potential as a standalone business and another vertical for $DIS to reach a global audience to generate ad and subscriber revenues.

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