SEC Reverses Itself on Disney


The Securities and Exchange Commission did an about-face on a ruling regarding The Walt Disney Co.

The agency said Wednesday that the company is now allowed to withhold from its proxy a proposal to let shareholders directly nominate board members, reversing an earlier decision, AP reported.

The nonbinding proposal -- submitted in October by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees' pension plan, as well as several state pension funds, including those of California, New York and Illinois -- would have allowed individual or groups of shareholders that have owned more than 5% of Disney's shares for more than two years to directly nominate candidates for the board, according to AP.

The SEC said last month that it would allow the proposal to be included on Disney's proxy statement, but Disney appealed successfully.

Disney also successfully appealed an SEC staff decision that would have allowed a proposal to reserve a board seat for a descendant of company founders Walt and Roy O. Disney, AP reported.